Updates On DEI Activities This Spring

by Richard Plumb, PhD, President | March 2, 2023

I would like to provide an update on the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) activities underway this spring on our campus, including the important recruitment process to fill the position of Assistant Vice President & Senior Diversity Officer (AVPSDO).

First, I want to thank Dr. James Johnson again for his work and support during his time as co-SDO this fall, and Dr. María Luisa Ruiz as she continues in the position. Their efforts are very much appreciated.

This spring, the lead DEI team includes María, Frances Sweeney (Vice President for Mission), Jennifer Pigza (Chair of the College Committee on Inclusive Excellence, CCIE), and Denise Parish (AVP of Human Resources). Please join me in thanking them as they work collaboratively to strengthen and advance Saint Mary’s as a place of real belonging for all members of the community. 

Key DEI initiatives this spring include the development of a DEI action plan that aligns with Transformation 2028, one that will be grounded in last year’s climate survey. Additionally, the DEI team will address our Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) initiatives, continue to collaborate in academic initiatives such as the Academic Workload taskforce, and provide oversight of GUIDE training.

I also appreciate the amazing work of the CCIE and the support for its subcommittees, of which many of you are an active part. The programming and activities for engagement for our community members are  educational, rich, and extremely critical as we continue to understand and live lives committed to the common good and social justice. 

Another key project is the recruitment for an AVPSDO. Based on the feedback of community members and the advice of James and María, the search for an AVPSDO will occur through the spring and the fall, with an expected start date of January 2024. This additional time will allow us to more fully develop the Office of DEI infrastructure that best suits our campus and to ensure that the position announcement development and search process is completed in the most effective manner. 

I want to thank our faculty and staff colleagues for their willingness to serve on this important committee.

  • Jyoti Bachani, SEBA Faculty Representative
  • Rebecca Anguiano, KSOE Faculty Representative 
  • José Feito, SOS Faculty Representative
  • Robin Dunn, SOLA Faculty Representative
  • Kobe Onedera, Associated Students President 
  • James Scuito, Interim Vice President for Student Life
  • Courtney Gordon, Staff Representative
  • Carrie Davis, Staff Representative
  • Aeleah Soine, Vice Provost for Student Success
  • Denise Parish, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
  • María Luisa Ruiz, Interim Senior Diversity Officer (chair) 
  • Karin Hein, Human Resources (non-voting)   

Best regards,

Richard Plumb, PhD