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Addressing and enhancing a diverse and equitable Northwest

Dear Northwest students, faculty and staff, alumni, partners and friends,

At Northwest, our mission is to focus on student success – every student, every day. As part of that mission, we must work collectively to build on the momentum, energy and passion of our community to address issues of systemic racism and institutional bias. Since setting these goals in June, we continue to speak with students, alumni, employees and other stakeholders to better understand issues of race. We are listening, aligning and acting. I and the Northwest Leadership Team are committed to taking action on these issues.

  • We received a $1 million dollar gift from the Karen L. Daniel Legacy Fund that will aid in the creation of a resource center for Black students and friends. Plans are underway to identify a space this fall.
  • We launched a required diversity training module Aug. 1 for all Northwest employees and Board members. We are now going beyond this online training and providing more in-depth training, related to bias and privilege. In addition to our Northwest employees and Board members, the training is being made available to the Maryville R-II School District, City of Maryville and Nodaway County Commission and administration. Training will be delivered through a mix of internal and external facilitators. A required student training will be announced in September.
  • Northwest is committed to working with students to evaluate policies and propose changes as appropriate. Specifically, we are working with students and others to review our Code of Conduct, including our speech policy. We will take any resulting policy revisions to the Board of Regents for approval no later than its December meeting.
  • We created a Bearcat Equity Reporting Form to encourage students and employees to report any instance of discrimination on campus and within the Maryville community. The Bearcat Equity Program is a reporting system where students and employees may report issues of discrimination and bias. Each report will be reviewed by a Bias Response Team.
  • Northwest is aligning its Office of Diversity and Inclusion with national standards set by the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education. This process has commenced and the estimated timeline could take up a year to secure.
  • We are enhancing the Northwest Leadership System by gathering more voices from Black students, faculty, staff and alumni. We have commissioned a newly formed President’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Team, Black Alumni and Friends Presidential Accountability Team, and an Issues of Race Action Team.
  • A Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan draft is being reviewed by the three aforementioned teams. All actions related to diversity and inclusion must be aligned with the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan and will be aligned with Northwest’s overall strategic plan. The three aforementioned teams will review progress on a regular basis.
  • The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will complete an annual report to be published online. It will connect to overall University goals. We project the first report to be published in June 2021.

For more information about our actions and progress toward fulfilling our goals related to these initiatives, I invite you to click the links below.

Dr. John Jasinski
President