The President's Commission on Diversity and Inclusion will be offering a final public opportunity for discussion and feedback on the draft Diversity Action Plan on Wednesday, February 28, at 7:00 p.m. in room 225 of the Humanities and Social Sciences Building.

If you have already participated in a session about the draft plan, or if you have sent feedback via e-mail to the commission, thank you. If you have not yet had that opportunity, I urge you, if your schedule permits, to attend this open forum so you can provide your perspective to this important initiative.

If you cannot attend, comments are invited through February 28 via e-mail at Feedback received will be incorporated into the draft plan for review by the Council of Trustees at its March 22 meeting.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the commission for their diligence and their careful and thoughtful work in creating this draft plan. I am pleased to say that in response to one of the key recommendations from the commission: “develop a mechanism for reporting and responding to incidents,” a protocol for reporting messages of concern has already been established.

The origins of the commission, in part, come from the Campus Climate Study, which identified a growing sense of unease about how we talk about and treat each other. I have said this before, but it bears repeating: There is no more important task than ensuring that IUP is a place where we can all feel welcome to learn, work, and live. There is room for everyone's voice at IUP's table as we aspire to embody the ideals of our Civility Statement: IUP must remain a place where students, faculty, and staff join together to create a community where people exchange ideas, listen to one another with consideration and respect, and are committed to fostering civility through university structures, policies, and procedures." Please make sure to take your place at the table while we work together through our disagreements to protect the vitality, safety, and security of our shared community.

Thank you for continuing to work together to make IUP the place and the people we know we should be and can be. It's the IUP Way.

Michael A. Driscoll