Creating a Culture of Inclusive Excellence
There were several incidents of bias including use of racial slurs that took place within a short period of time on campus. The incidents became public and the university was criticized for mishandling the response. Morale seemed to be low among students, staff, and faculty as a result of the varied accounts of the incidents as well as a lack of information about the Bias Incident Committee processes.
There were three specific actions taken by President Machtley to address the incidents and subsequent issues with morale.
- A committee was established to review the Bias Incident Committee processes from reporting to findings.
- Two speakers (Dr. Derek Greenfield, and Dr. Eddie Moore) were invited to speak at the university to address incidents of bias and facilitating inclusion, respectively.
- President Machtley appointed a Special Assistant for Inclusive Excellence to his cabinet (Dr. Kevin K. Martins). The role will be responsible for a long-term strategic plan for greater inclusion at Bryant University.
- The committee provided recommendations for improvement of the Bias Incident Committee processes. The full report from the committee was made public to the entire Bryant Community.
- Both speaker events were well attended, and Dr. Greenfield's visit was especially well received by the campus community. It provided a space to heal for all in attendance.
- Since the appointment of Dr. Martins, several additional changes have taken place including hiring of two new staff members to support inclusive excellence, and the creation of a campus-wide Council for Inclusive Excellence. The council will be responsible for campus wide assessment of inclusion efforts, training and development, resource allocation for programming and bias incident response.