On Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at FDU

DEI, Diversity, equity, inclusion symbol. Wooden blocks with words DEI, diversity, equity, inclusion on beautiful white background. Business, DEI, diversity, equity, inclusion concept.

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In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, other incidents of racial violence and ongoing community conversations on social justice, Fairleigh Dickinson University created the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Council to provide counsel and advice to President Christopher Capuano on all matters relating to DEI.

“Every meeting of the team has been substantive, intentional and collaborative,” says Dale Caldwell, council chair and executive director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The team comprises representatives from multiple constituencies within the FDU community — students, faculty, alumni and staff — with the goal of recognizing as many experiences as possible.

Some key council activities have included holding discussions and subcommittee meetings on DEI challenges; attending webinars to build competencies related to DEI in higher education; writing sections of FDU’s New Jersey DEI grant submission; and developing a written statement condemning the rise in racist, anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander violence, specifically the deadly shootings that took place in Atlanta, Ga., in March 2021.

The council also provided President Capuano with recommendations for the FDU Strategic Plan. In the future, the group will provide him with perspectives related to vitally important issues — from creating a confidential system for students and others to share DEI-related issues, to administrator, staff, faculty and student training to ensuring that curriculum and course offerings are aligned with DEI best practices.