Office of Mission & Identity

Diversity Engagement Committee

The Diversity Engagement Committee (DEC) seeks to further strengthen and advance Lewis University’s ongoing efforts to embrace and affirm the equal dignity of every person in the spirit of our Catholic and Lasallian Mission. The work of the Diversity Engagement Committee contributes to the University’s efforts to prepare students for a pluralistic world by offering resources and experiences which contribute to their appreciation and understanding of the diversity of the human experience.   

History and Context

Some form of University-wide coordinating committee for matters related to diversity has existed for approximately 20 years. These committees have included: President’s Transcultural Facilitation Council, President’s Diversity Task Force, University Diversity Facilitation Council, University Diversity Council, and the University Diversity Action Team (UDAT).  These entities have evolved over time to adapt to the needs of the community and the changing nature of diversity issues on campus. The Diversity Engagement Committee, created in the Fall of 2016, has been created in this spirit.

The DEC is one of four standing committees of the Mission and Heritage Council (MHC). The MHC is chaired by the President and facilitated by the Vice President for Mission and Academic Services. One of the two co-chairs of the DEC serves as a member of the Mission and Heritage Council.

Membership

The Diversity Engagement Committee includes faculty and staff from areas throughout the University. Membership terms are two years. The DEC collaborates with other departments and offices (e.g. Human Resources, Multicultural Student Services, International Student Services, University Ministry), and student groups (e.g. Student Senate, Black Student Association, Latin American Student Organization), to accomplish three primary goals:

  1. Thoughtful and Respectful Dialogue: Study and discuss emerging trends, best practices, data, and research related to diversity and inclusion in higher education and in society at large and identify ways to further promote and advance campus wide conversation and action.

  2. Programs and Initiatives: Create, recommend, and promote initiatives and programs that explore and foster a rich, engaged, and respectful community dialogue.

  3. Resources and Messaging: Develop resources and messaging which fosters appreciation for and understanding of diversity that is consistent with the University’s Mission.    

The Diversity Engagement Committee meets several times each semester.