President Callahan's message about Pacific's progress report on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts

Dear Pacificans,


I am delighted to present our latest progress report on our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, originally articulated in my August 2020 communication (you can also review our past DEI reports from November 2020 and March 2021).

While there remains much to do, I am very proud of the advances we have made—together—over the past year, setting Pacific on a path to become a national model for DEI in higher education. Thanks to all of you for your exceptional work.

Tomorrow, Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi will become our inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. Most recently the chief diversity executive at University of San Francisco, Dr. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi will be working closely with our students, faculty, staff, university leaders, Regents, community leaders and the diversity directors appointed at all of our schools and colleges. We are thrilled to have her join us and will benefit greatly from her expertise, passion and caring approach to fostering inclusive communities.

Other advances since our March DEI report include:

Regents: The Board of Regents continues to diversify its membership and leaders. The five new Regents include three women, two people of color and two LGBTQ+ members. The four executive officers starting this week include three women, two people of color and two LGBTQ+ members. Fundraising for the new Lift Every Voice Endowed Scholarship for Black undergraduate students, led by Regents Chair Norman Allen, is now at more than $110,000. The first recipients will be named in the fall. Additionally, DEI issues are now part of every Regent committee. The Investment Committee has started research on how to include DEI issues into decision-making on the school’s investment portfolio and the Audit Committee has launched research on best practices at other universities.

University Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: The 35-member UCDEI, comprised of faculty, staff and students, continues to advance under the leadership of co-chairs Marshea Pratt (staff) and Qingwen Dong (faculty). UCDEI honored studentfaculty and staff Champions of DEI for their inclusive outreach and service. The committee’s DEI Dialogues virtual event series continued to draw local, state and national speakers on a wide array of DEI topics (DEI Dialogue recordings are available on the UCDEI webpage). Meanwhile, the committee is exploring a cohort model, inviting university stakeholders to join small groups for relationship building and discussions about all aspects of DEI.

Teaching: Dr. Dong and the UCDEI are working with the University Assessment Committee to develop and test DEI and social justice rubrics for course evaluations and assessments. They also are working with the General Education Committee to develop DEI guidance for curriculum development.

Student Life: Student Life efforts included a vast array of programs to promote diversity, equity and inclusion and outreach calls to students to support retention and engagement. The activities included conversations around the escalating national violence against Asian/Pacific Islanders, weekly conversations focused on Latinx and Black students, and Pride Week activities and workshops. Meanwhile, the Women of Distinction Awards event drew 164 participants.

Library: The DEI audit of our library collections, aided by a $10,000 UCDEI grant, is nearly completed (an update from April can be found here). Members of the library’s DEI planning committee will share the results this fall.

Personnel: Deborah Freeman, director of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity, reported that in the first quarter of 2021, university new hires were 62% female and 39% people of color. Among those receiving promotions, 57% were female and 39% were people of color. The vice presidents also are now reviewing all employee exit interviews to identify trends and to develop new retention strategies.

Public Safety: Public Safety teamed again with Ombuds Hector Escalante and Counseling and Psychological Services therapist Carlton Oler to conduct more Community Conversations around DEI in law enforcement and building trust.

I am extremely proud of the Pacific community for all of these efforts. We have made meaningful progress in creating a more inclusive and representative community. But we are just at the beginning.

I look forward to seeing everyone back on our campuses soon!



Christopher Callahan