aerial view of campus from the west showing all of campus and the Wasatch Mountains in the background with snow on the peaks.

A progress update from PCEB

We’ve come a long way.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve partnered with leaders and other stakeholders from every part of the U to identify how all of us can find a sense of belonging. We’ve taken a look at some of our key processes and identified areas for improvement. We spent focused time taking a step back and evaluating what it means to build a diverse and inclusive community.

Together, the steps we’ve taken have been both exciting and humbling. We are both pleased with the work we’ve all undertaken together, and keenly aware that we are still at the beginning of the journey. The Presidential Commission on Equity and Belonging (PCEB) began as a short-term project to guide, support and centralize the strong foundation of ongoing EDI efforts across our campus. This commission, which has extended its work through the end of the academic year, will continue to report to you on its progress and efforts to foster a campus community where everyone can thrive. Most recently, we have completed some activities that help us build on our inaugural Day of Collective Action.

On Friday, April 1, 2022, the U worked with the Council of 1890 Universities to bring together presidents from Historically Black Colleges and Universities for a special edition of the Friday Forums on Racism in Higher Education series to talk about the threat to HBCUs and Black spaces at the U and universities across the country.

On Tuesday, April 12, 2022, revisions to the student code of conduct were made effective. These changes ensure that we can hold community members accountable if they take harmful action motivated by bias or prejudice while upholding First Amendment rights. For more information about the changes made, please read this @theU article.

Finally, we continue to reflect on the discussions from the Day of Collective Action and other equity-focused conversations from the past several months as we develop a community compact. This compact will set the standard for what students, faculty and staff can expect from the U as we strive to cultivate a more inclusive campus environment. We are collaborating with our community before finalizing the compact by the end of the semester.

We are committed to building upon each of these moments in ways that help us transform the U into a place where everyone can belong and thrive.

Thank you for your support, feedback and participation in making the U a more inclusive community.

Sincerely,

Mary Ann Villarreal
Vice President for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion
Co-Chair of the Presidential Commission on Equity and Belonging

Lori McDonald
Vice President for Student Affairs
Co-Chair of the Presidential Commission on Equity and Belonging