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A message from President Cornille

June 1, 2020

A message from President Keith Cornille to the College community:

Recent events have illustrated in drastic ways how matters of equity, diversity and inclusion must be an utmost importance to us all.

Acts of violence, bigotry and hatred are abhorrent and should never be tolerated. But more than that, the less visible forms of exclusion that exist subtly in institutions and throughout our society must be examined and remedied.  We stand with the community to address such matters.  

The College has a strong commitment to maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for all students, employees and visitors. I wanted to take this time to update you on how we are continually enhancing our efforts to maintain our commitment.

During the past year, the President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion has been working to ensure the College is meeting our commitment of providing a learner-centered experience for all individuals in a manner that values diversity and inclusion. 

The team had the charge of developing a report on the current climate, policies, practices and strategic direction for advancing a culture of diversity and inclusion that fosters a welcoming, affirming and equitable environment that furthers student success.  That report was shared with me, the Cabinet and Board of Trustees. The report, Integrating Diversity & Inclusion into the Heart of Heartland Community College, provides a list of recommendations and activities, and three key strategies that have been identified to advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) efforts at Heartland: focusing on development of an EDI Scorecard, implementation of identified initiatives, and establishment of an EDI Advisory Council.

Included in the recommendations is the call for a senior leadership position to advise the President on EDI matters, as well as develop strategies and coordinate the implementation of related initiatives.

In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more information on our progress in regards to these strategies, including the naming of Assistant to the President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. But I also want to express that we all have a role to play in maintaining our commitment to not only fulfill our mission of accessible learning for the entire community.

There is nothing more important to our success as a college than providing an environment where ALL are included and welcome.  As we reckon with the disturbing images, events and messages we have witnessed, we can continue to make a positive difference.

 

Written by: Steve Fast