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Update on implementation of Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

by Michelle Saport  |   

Dear UAA Community,

I am pleased to say that UAA continues to make progress implementing the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP).

The plan recommends the university examine, develop and implement improved, standardized search committee processes including training in unconscious bias. In light of this, I have asked all hiring authorities to take steps to ensure their applicant pools are diverse.

The recommended multicultural postdoctoral position searches are now underway, and we can look forward to greeting five new faculty in health sciences/circumpolar health, philosophy, sociology, Alaska Native studies and psychology this fall.

The Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan focuses on helping all students succeed. This mission integrates well with the UAA 2020 initiative and our focus on student success. The new interim vice provost for student success has developed action plans based on DIAP findings, specifically to address gaps in retention and graduation for our Alaska Native students, as well as those from historically under-represented backgrounds.

The plan also recommends UAA add an additional senior leadership position focusing solely on diversity and inclusion. I am pleased to announce a search committee will soon form to begin the process.

Finally, the DIAP recommends the reorganization and repurposing of the Diversity Action Council to ensure oversight and monitoring of the plan. The council will maintain its commitment to ensuring UAA is a welcoming and inclusive place, but its membership will expand to include additional senior leadership. Its primary focus will be oversight of the DIAP, developing benchmarks and guiding us toward continuous improvement.

Sincerely, Samuel B. Gingerich UAA Interim Chancellor

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