Burwell updates AU community on ‘Changemakers,’ ‘Inclusive Excellence’ plans

“I am proud that our community not only remained committed to our strategy, but also demonstrated creativity and flexibility”

Burwell updates AU community on ‘Changemakers,’ ‘Inclusive Excellence’ plans

The Mary Graydon Center, pictured in 2016. 

President Sylvia Burwell released a new progress report of the second year of American University’s Changemakers for a Changing World strategic plan that outlined the second phase of the Inclusive Excellence plan in an email to the AU community Wednesday. 

AU’s Inclusive Excellence plan just wrapped up its first phase, according to Burwell. Beginning in 2018, the plan was part of the greater five-year strategic plan, AU’s Changemakers for a Changing World, which just completed its second year. Burwell said the University met many of its goals regarding the Inclusive Excellence plan.

Some of these achievements include the creation of Black Affinity Housing, an increase in new tenure-line faculty hired who identify as faculty of color and the addition of 47 faculty affiliates in the Antiracist Research and Policy Center.

“There will still be many challenges ahead in this space, both within the university and throughout the national reckoning with systemic racism,” Burwell wrote. “But if we can stay focused on our goals and our plan, this strategy will help us move toward a more inclusive AU.”

Goals of the second phase include developing an inclusive campus and climate, creating and updating University policies and procedures to ensure diversity and transparency, and recruiting and retaining a diverse body of students, faculty and staff with a focus on racial equity. 

In terms of the broader five-year strategic plan, Burwell highlighted some achievements which included a 20 percent growth of faculty research proposals for external funding, an increase in the number of underrepresented students in the incoming class, the AU District Scholars initiative and the new Office of Equity and Title IX.

“In a year dominated by upheaval and uncertainty, I am proud that our community not only remained committed to our strategy, but also demonstrated creativity and flexibility in advancing this important work throughout the challenges presented by COVID-19,” Burwell wrote.

emurray@theeagleonline.com

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