Diversity, equity and inclusion plan for 2020-2023
Grounded in our Catholic, Jesuit mission, Marquette University’s vision is to create a diverse and vibrant campus community in which all enjoy mutual respect and are actively engaged in the life of the university. However, we have significant challenges along the way to achieving that vision. As our 2015 climate study indicated, one out of every five members of our Marquette family experienced marginalization, disconnection, and alienation on our campus, and one in three reported that they observed such acts of bias. Since the release of the climate study, Marquette has taken steps toward becoming a more inclusive campus. Yet, we are at a critical crossroads – a moment in our university’s history when we need to reignite a sense of urgency in actively working to transform the campus environment. As Father Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, stated in his 2018 speech, “The University as a Source of Reconciled Life,”
Educating people for world citizenship involves recognizing diversity as a constitutive dimension of a full human life. This means experiencing cultural diversity as an opportunity for the enrichment of human beings. We want to educate human beings who are able to feel that they are members of humanity because they have become critically aware of their own culture (inculturation); who are capable of joyfully recognizing the culture of other human beings (multiculturalism) and relating to others, becoming enhanced by the variety of which their own culture is a part (interculturality). Interpreted in this way, universality can provide the impetus for social justice, fraternity, and peace.
Not only is working toward a more diverse and inclusive campus wholly aligned with our institutional values, but the very future of our university depends upon our ability to create a culture in which all our diverse constituents feel welcomed, supported, affirmed and unfettered in pursuit of their goals. Looking to demographic trends, over the next 15 years, the overall number of high school graduates is expected to plateau but the share of those rising college students who are students of color will increase dramatically, and the same trend holds true in our own city. Other researchers have found that learning is strengthened by diverse environments. Diversity is our present, our community, and our future. And our reputation as a diverse and inclusive Jesuit university will strengthen our position for years to come as it will bolster both our enrollment and our retention.
We must start looking to diversity as an opportunity to be embraced. Our campus is enriched by lived experiences and cultures of those in our community. Diversity is an asset to the learning environment: it expands our world view, helps us become more receptive and empathetic to others, drives innovation, helps us to become more effective problem-solvers, and ultimately prepares us to become better servant-leaders in the community.
Since this plan is meant to launch new actions and support existing initiatives, each goal details strategies and metrics with an expectation that the university will make progress over the next three academic years.