Wayne Davis

Wayne Davis took office as Interim Chancellor on May 3 following the dismissal of Beverly Davenport. 

Interim Chancellor Wayne Davis shared updates in an email regarding actions being taken on campus to create a welcoming environment for all.

Davis said the Anti-Defamation League came to campus April 25 and April 26 to conduct a series of educational sessions for faculty, staff, administrators and students about ways to combat racism and hate speech.

Inclusive Solutions will present recommendations and conduct cultural competency education next week on May 6 and May 7 in a series of workshops for administrators, faculty, and staff, including a session specifically for the cabinet Monday morning.

“We understand that education around cultural competency and inclusion needs to be sustained over time to be effective in creating an environment that best supports our success,” Davis said in the email.

University employees are progressing other education initiatives such as inclusive teaching certificate, inclusive leadership academy, uConnecT, intercultural development inventory training and advising community education.

“As new Volunteers arrive on campus for orientation this summer, updated programming will incorporate a greater emphasis on cultural competency education, and that emphasis will continue through Welcome Week and into First-Year Studies,” Davis said in the email. “Faculty across campus are preparing for the updated general education requirements passed by the Faculty Senate in March, which will incorporate global citizenship courses when they go into effect in 2021.”

A group to review the Student Code of Conduct began its work and has committed to working through the summer to come determine a recommendation. Dean of the College of Law Melanie Wilson and associate vice chancellor for student life Frank Cuevas co-chair the group.

Ongoing intergroup dialogue session and other work to better understand and address the campus climate are underway, and faculty and student advisory groups specifically for diversity and engagement have been creation.

There are also ongoing efforts to support the work of our commissions and council and efforts to recruit, support, and retain the best faculty, staff, and students to cultivate a diverse and welcoming environment.

“The provost’s office is committed to working with deans to foster representative and welcoming environments,” Davis said. “All colleges will be creating specific college-level diversity plans and reporting progress under those plans.”

New and existing will undergo diversity education as well.

“These efforts and more are a shared responsibility—no single person can do them alone. We recognize that it takes resources to support this work and have prioritized the addition of professional staff to work with the interim vice chancellor for diversity and engagement,” Davis said. “The entire cabinet is committed to and accountable for seeing these priorities through in order to create and support a culture of respect and success for all Volunteers.

“We wish everyone the best during finals and in the last days of the academic year,” Davis concluded. 

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