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Information for Cultural Diversity and Inclusion

Message from our Chancellor 

"When we speak about ‘diversity,’ it includes race, ethnicity, gender, religion, cultural background, national origin, and more. South University’s staff, faculty and students are vastly diverse yet united in a mosaic of service to our communities, the advancement of learning, and supporting one another’s achievement of life goals. I deeply believe one of the most important benefits of South University’s diverse human mosaic is that collectively, it makes possible a greater understanding than what is knowable by any individual on their own.

Yet, this moment brings forward a new and urgent opportunity for each of us to sow the seeds of change if we are to truly experience the growth of equality and equity represented in the mosaic described above. We must individually renew our responsibility to practice the “golden rule” every day."

Purpose & Mission

Purpose Statement:

The primary role of the South University Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is to establish a dedicated focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging initiatives connecting to a broader academic and institutional practice, resulting in a strategy that supports tangible institutional change. This Council will serve as a dedicated platform to address and enhance DEI aspects in our university's fabric.

Mission Statement:

The mission of the South University Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is to create an inclusive work and educational environment by fostering academic excellence, personal growth, and social responsibility. The goal of the Council is to create a culture where South University students, alumni, faculty, and staff have a sense of belonging, acceptance, and inclusion. As an open and affirming Council, we celebrate our differences in gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, identity, age, economic status, and ability. The Council welcomes a diversity of thought and encourages respectful dialogue about aligned or differing perspectives. Through collaboration, the Council will work towards addressing discrimination, bias, and barriers while embracing the richness of our individual experiences. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Definitions:

South University defines diversity as individuals who represent varied backgrounds, qualities, experiences, and perspectives.

South University defines equity as acting intentionally to create an environment that promotes opportunities and eliminates barriers to enable all individuals to succeed regardless of their backgrounds, qualities, experiences, and perspectives.  

South University defines inclusion as intentional actions to create and cultivate a sense of belonging where all individuals feel valued, respected, and empowered.

 
 

Goals

1. Create a University that is welcoming and respectful of differences and equal access.

2. Recruit, retain, and graduate a diverse population.

3. Hire and retain a diverse workforce. 

4. Create environments for student learning that is culturally inclusive and sensitive.  

5. Incorporate diversity and inclusivity in teaching, learning, and researching. 

6. Create new partnerships and enhance existing ones that support the University's commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

5-Year Strategic Plan

  1. Communication/Marketing
    • Objective: Enhance visibility and understanding of DEI efforts through effective communication and marketing strategies.

    Strategies:
    • Employment and Student Representation:
      • Feature diverse student and staff stories in newsletters and media.
      • Showcase DEI initiatives and achievements on the university website, with a dedicated DEI progress and news section.

    • Integrated Communication Approach:
      • Develop a comprehensive communications plan incorporating newsletters, social media, and website updates to inform the university community about DEI efforts regularly.

  2. Training/Development
    • Objective: Ensure comprehensive DEI education and professional development for all university members.

    Strategies:
    • Annual Trainings:
      • Implement annual DEI training for faculty, staff, and students with a regularly updated curriculum.
      • Utilize platforms like LinkedIn Learning to supplement in-house training with diverse external resources and perspectives.

    • Continuous Learning:
      • Encourage ongoing learning and development through DEI-focused workshops, seminars, and guest lectures.

  3. Curriculum
    • Objective: Integrate DEI principles into the curriculum and teaching methods.

    Strategies:
    • Humanities Course for DEI:
      • Introduce a humanities course focused on diversity and inclusion for all students.

    • Curriculum Evaluation:
      • Conduct regular curriculum and course content evaluations to ensure they reflect inclusive and diverse perspectives.
      • Train faculty in culturally responsive teaching methods and integrate these practices into professional development programs.

  4. Hire, Recruitment, and Retention
    • Objective: Foster a diverse and inclusive workforce and student body.

    Strategies:
    • Diversity Statements and Diverse Website Postings:
      • Include diversity statements in all job postings to attract a wide range of candidates.
      • Showcase the university's commitment to diversity on recruitment websites and materials.

    • Inclusive Recruitment and Retention Practices:
      • Ensure inclusive hiring practices and develop strategies to retain diverse talent.

  5. Assessment and Continuous Improvement
    • Objective: Regularly assess and improve the DEI climate and initiatives.

    Strategies:
    • Systemic Climate Assessment:
      • Develop and maintain comprehensive climate assessment processes, using tools like surveys and focus groups to gauge the effectiveness of DEI initiatives.

    • Feedback and Improvement:
      • Create a feedback loop involving all university members to continuously gather insights and make necessary improvements in DEI efforts.

South University Policies

Equal Opportunity Statement:
South University is an equal opportunity university open to any qualified individual without regard to race, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, genetic marker or any other basis protected by law. Pursuant to all applicable state, local or federal antidiscrimination laws and regulations, South University does not discriminate against any of the protected categories of individuals in the administration of its policies, programs or activities. This nondiscriminatory policy includes admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, employment practices, and all other university administered programs.

Disability Services:
South University provides accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. Disability
Services assists qualified students with disabilities in acquiring reasonable and appropriate accommodations and in supporting equal access to services, programs and activities at
South University.

Students who seek reasonable accommodations should notify the designated representative at their location of their specific limitations and, if known, their specific requested accommodations. Students will be asked to supply medical documentation of the need for accommodation. Classroom accommodations are not retroactive, but are effective only upon the student sharing approved accommodations with the instructor. Therefore, students are encouraged to request accommodations as early as feasible with The Office of
Disability Support Services to allow time to gather necessary documentation. If you have
a concern or complaint in this regard, please contact the Campus Director or President.
Complaints will be handled in accordance with the school's Internal Grievance Procedure for
Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment.

Non-Discrimination Policy:
South University does not discriminate or harass on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age, religion, veteran's status, genetic marker, or any other characteristic protected by state, local or federal law, in our programs and activities. South University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. South University will not retaliate against persons bringing foreword allegations of harassment or discrimination. The campus Dean of Student Affairs has been designated to handle, inquire and coordinate the campus' compliance efforts regarding the Non-Discrimination policy.

Contact Information & Resources

How to Contact the South University Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

SUCDEI@southuniversity.edu  

Diversity and Inclusion Library Guides

South University Online Library has Diversity and Inlcusion resources for student, staff and faculty at https://southuniversity-libguides-com.su.idm.oclc.org/c.php?g=1082602&p=8026291.

These resources includes Books, Background Information, Databases, websites, journals, and videos to help everyone learn about Diversity and Inclusion.

Council on Cultural Diversity and Inclusion

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