GOAL 3: Advance a climate that fosters inclusion excellence.
“The current attitudes, behaviors and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential.”
— Definition of campus climate by Susan Rankin, lead consultant, UC Campus Climate Study Team and professor, Pennsylvania State University
As stated in the Principles of Community, UC Davis aspires to “maintain a climate of equity and justice” and “build and maintain a culture and climate based on mutual respect and caring.” As an institution, our actions must reflect these words. While UC Davis values and promotes civility and mutual respect, the reality is that even one incident of bias (e.g., racist, sexist, homophobic) or one member of the community feeling unwelcomed, excluded, or bullied, is one too many. In the words of Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, “wide exposure to that robust exchange of ideas which discovers truth out of a multitude of tongues” is a cornerstone of higher education, so creating spaces for such an exchange is imperative. Every person, irrespective of role or position, must take responsibility for their actions and assume shared ownership of the climate in and around the campus community and workplace.
One of UC Davis’ long-range goals is to be a model of diversity and to create a welcoming and nurturing environment for students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors. Activities and words that normalize racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism, ageism and anti-blackness go against our ideals and create toxic environments for those we most need to welcome and understand. Our practices should enable all participants to be authentically present in the classroom, workplace, health care facility, and community. Such efforts enhance the climate of our university; improve our health and wellness; maximize learning outcomes; increase persistence, retention, and success; and facilitate professional fulfillment and improvement.
Food, energy, health, education, the environment—UC Davis is focused on solving the most pressing challenges facing our world. We are leading the way to a better future by a relentless pursuit of knowledge through innovation. As UC Davis looks to that future and our desire to be the “most visionary university in the country,” we must move with the same speed and nimbleness as the diverse and globally connected world around us. This will require a campus that promotes collaboration across disciplines, positions, or silos that we may connect ideas with problems; provides spaces and means to work together formally or informally; and makes accessible resources and services that advance a cooperative climate or respond immediately to a breakdown. In other words, we desire a campus that leverages the diversity and creativity of our many parts to achieve a common vision of education and inclusion excellence that improves our community and our world.
- Build opportunities for difficult discussions and reflection on issues of diversity, inclusion, and social justice to become part of daily practice, in which there is an acceptance for the continuous learning that is the building block of cultural literacy.
- Develop programs and services around healing processes, such as restorative justice, conflict resolution, early intervention, and mediation. Example: UC Davis Police Department Restorative Justice Neighborhood Court
- Uphold protocols (e.g. PPM 400) for responding to protests in an environment that fosters the free exchange of ideas while maintaining the campus’ responsibility to protect the safety of all community members. Examples: Community healing forums, healing/processing spaces for students.
Create a more robust and actionable evaluation of campus climate survey data, with the goal of identifying and fixing areas of weakness and providing feedback to make future climate surveys more useful and meaningful. Example: AAMC-USU Climate Toolkit
Open lines of communication for individuals to convey problems outside of existing organizational structures, recognizing that not all individuals fall neatly within traditional academic and administrative hierarchies. Example: UC Davis Office of the Ombuds
- Commit resources to implement the primary recommendations from the Task Force on Workplace Climate and the Health System Executive Task Force on Addressing Campus Climate and Mistreatment regarding training, empowerment, reclassifications and hiring, evaluation, policy enforcement, supervisory skill development, and ongoing engagement and assessment (e.g., use of exit interviews). Example: Is it Bullying? Awareness and Strategies Course
- Acknowledge the limitations of whistleblower/retaliation policies and bystander reporting and find other tools to identify, investigate, and respond to potential hotspots (e.g., personnel departures figures, FMLA requests, sick leave, workers’ compensation claims, and grievances).
- Build competence in dealing with conflict. Identify and include multiple access points, charge a group to coordinate efforts across services and design an educational infrastructure. Example: Hate-Free Campus Initiative (HFCI)
- Require and embed diversity, inclusion, and climate content in division, college, school, and department trainings and workshops, especially for those in teaching, supervisory, student-facing, customer service, and decision-making roles. Examples: UndocuAlly Program for Educators (UPE), LGBTQIA Allyship trainings, graduate and professional student allyship seminar series
- Continue to bring attention, transparency, and due process to sexual assault and harassment investigations. Examples: #UCDavisUpstander, UConsent
- Expand resources for holistic support services and facilities for diverse communities of faculty, staff, and students. Examples: Community Resource and Retention Centers, designated staff meeting and gathering spaces
- Create and support networks of scholars and colleagues to build a sense of belonging and to foster communication across the university. Ensure that technology and structures are in place to facilitate access and dialogue. Examples: CAMPOS Cafecitos/Coffee Breaks, Graduate Diversity Network, New Faculty Network (NFN), Global Ambassador Program, First Friends, International Friendship Program
- Remove barriers for groups to find meeting space, do outreach and source funding for activities and initiatives, and to build sustainability into their endeavors. Encourage communities and groups to interact and collaborate. Example: Center for Student Involvement
- Create spaces that foster healthy/dynamic formal and informal interaction between and among all community groups and constituencies (i.e., students, staff, faculty, community). Examples: Chinese Students and Scholars Association at UC Davis, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
You can download a PDF version of the plan here.