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Social Justice Task Force Makes Recommendations

A note to the campus community from President John Ettling:

I am writing to share recommendations of the Social Justice Task Force. They are also posted online

Please read through this when you are able.

First, I want to thank task force members and the co-chairs, Dr. Jonathan Slater and Maxine Perry '01. They met before and through the summer with a range of campus and community stakeholders, consulted the work of researchers, and critically examined the work already taking place on campus. We met to discuss these recommendations this week.

As the task force notes, social justice is a "continuous process that involves an entire institution." The work belongs to each of us.

The recommendations are thoughtful and workable. You'll find many of the points cover areas where we are already advancing, such as bias response. You'll be hearing more about that as the semester unfolds.

As we work together toward improving the campus climate, I plan to create an independent, permanent social justice advisory group. One of the task force's recommendations, such a group will serve as a vital voice on these matters helping leadership and the wider campus community stay on track.

Separately, a committee to search for a permanent chief diversity officer will be named soon. As I noted last week, Portia Turco, coordinator of the Mental Health Counseling Program and director of the Ward Hall Counseling Clinic, will serve as interim chief diversity officer. She brings a deep understanding of social justice and cultural contexts to the position as an educator, counselor and activist. 

Again, I wish to thank the task force and look forward to advancing on these shared goals.

John Ettling

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