I am writing to you today as the co-chair of the College Committee on Inclusive Excellence (CCIE). Last year, CCIE revised its leadership structure to rotate the position of co-chair between a faculty and staff member for two-year terms. Since its formation in 2008, Provost Beth Dobkin has served as chair, with Robert Bulman and then Tomas Gomez-Arias serving as co-chair. In May, Angelica Garcia, director of the Academic Advising Center and High Potential Program, was selected by the membership as the first staff member to serve as co-chair. Angelica led the committee through August, when she announced she was leaving the College to assume a new position at Lewis & Clark University. I am honored to follow in her footsteps and work with an executive team that includes Provost Dobkin, Tomas Gomez-Arias, Joan Iva Cube Fawcett, Sam Agronow, Corliss Watkins and Eduardo Salaz.

One of the CCIE’s goals for this year is to enhance its communication to the campus community and beyond. This is the first of what will become monthly messages to keep the community better informed about CCIE activities and to promote inclusive excellence opportunities. Additionally, in the coming month, the CCIE web page will be updated to include current information on membership, committees and sponsored programs. One area I am particularly eager to showcase is the many events the CCIE has been able to fund, including last May’s presentation by our students at NCORE (National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education).

In August, the CCIE met for an all-day planning retreat to review the work of the committee since its inception and to plan for its future, especially the year ahead. Importantly the CCIE reaffirmed its charge to “recommend, facilitate, and review the implementation of policies, programs, and practices that advance inclusive excellence at Saint Mary’s College” and the College’s vision for inclusive excellence:

“We of Saint Mary’s College of California are dedicated to treating all people with dignity and respect in ways that acknowledge and engage diverse backgrounds and ideas. Our policies, practices, and behaviors foster a safe and inclusive community and promote learning that is equitable, collaborative, and inspired by the presence of God in and among us.”

Using the main areas of CCIE’s focus as a road map, the following subcommittees (chairs) were established: Budget ( Fawcett), Learning & Organizational Capability (Watkins), Communication (Gomez-Arias), Talent Management (Salaz) and WASC (Agronow). The responsibilities of the subcommittee chairs include: a) supporting the progress and completion of goals, b) leading the direction through inclusive input, c) facilitating subcommittee meetings, and d) active participation as a member. I am confident this structure will support the vision and mission of the CCIE through continuing the committee’s work outside of our monthly meetings. Next month. I will share the specific goals for each of the subcommittees.

The committee membership has undergone change and we are pleased to welcome the following new members:

Arianna Alvarez, ASSMC representative

Reid Davis, Performing Arts

Jeanne DeMatteo, controller

Claude-Rheal Malary, chair, Academic Senate

Kami Gray, SWA/associate director of Athletics

Jason Horger, associate director for Advancement, Marketing and Stewardship

A full roster of the 2012-13 membership of the CCIE can be found at http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/college-committee-on-inclusive-excellence.

In support of the College’s sesquicentennial celebration, the CCIE is excited about the opportunity to participate in the College’s Gaelebration on Saturday, October 6. In Hagerty Lounge, the Committee will be hosting an interactive experience that expresses the major accomplishments and initiatives fostered through the work and support of the CCIE over the past five years by inviting the community to see how we live out our Mission. I would encourage everyone to stop by.

I invite your suggestions for future CCIE activities as well as any comments and/or suggestions you might have regarding the committee. Please feel free to email me at skier@stmarys-ca.edu.

Sincerely,

Scott Kier
Dean of Students

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