UL Lafayette president outlines plans to expand inclusivity and diversity

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie released a blog statement this afternoon reaffirming the university’s position on diversity and inclusion.

The statement, available in full at Savoie’s blog, he pointed to the university’s Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence (SPIE), which he noted was crafted in 2019 over the course of a year. Faculty, staff, students and community partners all contributed through the Office of Campus Diversity.

“We are now implementing the plan and providing resources to ensure its success,” stated Savoie. “The measurable actions it outlines can create true and lasting change in nearly every aspect of campus life.”

Those actions include:

  • increasing the recruitment and retention of Black administrators, faculty, staff and students to better align the University’s demographics with that of our wider community;
  • offering interdisciplinary and co-curricular courses that improve cultural understanding and sensitivities, and providing increased support to faculty and student research in these areas; 
  • creating student organizations that encourage intercultural engagement and offer professional development opportunities;
  • enhancing student services to better meet the needs and ensure the success of underrepresented populations;
  • reviewing institutional policies, procedures and resources that support – or, in some cases, inhibit – diversity, inclusion and equity; and
  • engaging multicultural alumni and community partners through outreach activities.

Savoie encouraged readers to offer suggestions and critiques on the SPIE through a webform.

“To erase racial, social and educational inequities that exist on our campus, we must hold ourselves, and each other, accountable. And we must be willing to say what we believe,” stated Savoie. “This University believes in #BlackLivesMatter.”

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