Bryant University

Creating a Culture of Inclusive Excellence

Challenge

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. 

Actions

There were three specific actions taken by President Machtley to address the incidents and subsequent issues with morale.

  1. A committee was established to review the Bias Incident Committee processes from reporting to findings.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Outcomes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Contact

Kevin K. Martins: [email protected] 

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