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Toward an Anti-Racist Drexel

The Anti-Racism Task Force's Final Report and the University's Commitments to Change

Anti-Racism Task Force

Welcome to the online home of Toward an Anti-Racist Drexel: The Anti-Racism Task Force's Final Report and the University’s Commitments to Change. This page serves as the official record of the task force’s final report and the site where we will track progress toward the University’s commitments.

In this report, we have grouped the 200-plus recommendations and action items from all 11 committees of the Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF) into two macro themes: Demographic Representation, and Culture and Climate. These are further grouped into six broad themes that include: 1) addressing potential biases in recruitment; 2) fostering a culture of anti-racism through learning and education; 3) policies and systems; 4) adequate staffing and resource allocation; 5) faculty diversity and curriculum revisions; and 6) business practices and community engagement. Organizing these recommendations by the six themes enabled us to streamline similar recommendations that emerged across multiple task force committees. Overall assessment of Demographic Representation and Climate and Culture, as well as progress toward each of the individual recommendations listed in this report, will be published on the University's website to ensure accountability and transparency.

Committee recommendations were informed by the June 2020 town hall, as well as data from the University's internal databases and systems, varying levels of engagement (interviews and conversations) with key stakeholders in respective offices, focus groups, surveys, literature, and reviews of peer and aspirant institutions.

While most of the recommendations included in this report are presented by themes within the macro themes, some are attributed to specific committees within these groupings as appropriate. Furthermore, recommendations have been broadly aligned with the six strategic imperatives and initiatives (SI) in Drexel's Strategic Plan, which are identified using the color-coded key on the right sidebar of this webpage, recognizing that not all ARTF action items may fit into these. Also, the full committee reports on which this document is based will be made available to members of the Drexel community on this website.

Please isit the page Defining Drexel's Culture of Inclusion for a list of key terms used in this report.

A Message From President Fry

Dear Students and Colleagues,

The launch of Drexel's Anti-Racism Task Force last summer grew out of our collective resolve to create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable university environment — one where all students, faculty and professional staff are recognized and valued for their individual skills and talents, rather than judged through the damaging lenses of racial bias, profiling, and discrimination. Task force members and leaders have worked diligently over the past year to develop a wide range of proposed strategies and measures both to support our diverse Drexel community, especially our Black and brown members, and to root out and dismantle racism where it exists in our university policies, practices and culture. I am now pleased to present their report, along with their recommendations for positioning Drexel to confront and eradicate structural racism and inequality — on our campus and throughout society.

The intentional work to create an anti-racist university in actions and words was long overdue and essential to our teaching, research, and service enterprise moving forward. The task force has forced us to undertake inquiries and discussions that often have been difficult and uncomfortable. But they also have been illuminating, productive, and in many cases cathartic. And while a good number of the recommended changes and measures will not be easy to implement, the report nonetheless provides a roadmap toward undoing racism and realizing our shared goal of a safe and truly inclusive and welcoming Drexel community.

I encourage all of you to read the full report, and rededicate yourselves, as I have, to lifelong learning in order to eliminate racism in every aspect of our lives. Over the past 15 months, I have deepened my understanding about racism by listening closely to the co-chairs of the subcommittees; by immersing myself in our anti-racism and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) educational offerings; by engaging in a galvanizing senior leadership retreat to raise our awareness and sensitivity to the ways racism manifests itself at Drexel and throughout society; and by taking a DEI enterprise learning module.

After reviewing all of the report's recommendations, I feel an ever greater sense of urgency about tackling the University's shortcomings head-on and taking all necessary steps to eradicate racism in our community. Never again should our Black and brown students, faculty and professional staff — or any members of our Drexel family — have their success impeded, their safety threatened, or mental health and well-being harmed, by systemic challenges and barriers, much less, by instances of overt racism.

Let us also remember, as the task force members remind us, "Institutions that cultivate diversity and advance equity and inclusion outperform their peers that fail to do so --- both in reputation among prospective students, faculty and professional staff, and in their impact upon society. Indeed, rigorously diverse and inclusive universities excel at delivering a high-quality educational experience to every student and at producing transformational top-tier research. Put simply: An inclusive, anti-racist Drexel is a stronger Drexel — more innovative, more effective, more competitive and better positioned to meet the challenges of the next decade and beyond."

I pledge that we will mount an all-out, long-term effort to realize this vision of a better, stronger Drexel. We recognize that we face daunting challenges ahead. But as a comprehensive teaching and research institution in service to the public good, we are uniquely equipped to educate ourselves about racism and to put our values and commitment to justice into practice.

I want to thank the task force co-chairs for their leadership: Kim Gholston, vice president and chief diversity officer; Aroutis Foster, associate professor of education and associate dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies; Lucy Kerman, senior vice provost for University and Community Partnerships; and Subir Sahu, senior vice president for Student Success. We are all grateful, too, for the hard work of the chairs and members of the 11 subcommittees created by the task force, who dedicated their time and ideas to making our University one we can all be proud of.

Please join me in taking up this challenge and, together, doing the difficult work of building a thriving university community that truly welcomes and respects everyone.

Sincerely,

John Fry, President

Background Information

As a wave of Black Lives Matter protests swept across the United States and the world in late spring 2020, calling for an end to police brutality and other forms of systemic racism, members of the Drexel community not only joined the marches and demonstrations in their communities, but also demanded change at the University. Through phone calls, emails, letters, petitions and demonstrations, Black students, faculty and professional staff — and their allies — shared their hurt, anguish, frustration and anger, and they outlined ways the University could and should be a more welcoming, inclusive, equitable and anti-racist institution.

One letter, addressed to “Drexel leadership,” threw these issues and emotions into stark relief:

Your Black colleagues are tired, in anguish, and overwhelmed. They actually feel like this all the time, but the rules of the workplace dictate that those feelings aren't shared. However, this is more than a personal matter and more than feelings; it is about life and death. It is vital to engage in discussions about what is happening to Black communities right now because this tiredness, this anguish, this feeling of being overwhelmed affects the very core of your Black colleagues’ lives. We want you to understand this first and foremost: you are asking us all to go back to business as usual at a time when your Black colleagues are experiencing unprecedented loss. This is not just about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, or Ahmaud Arbery, three of only the most recent Black Americans whose senseless deaths (executions rather) were the catalyst for the unrest you see right now. This is about years of oppression wherein Black people have been devalued, dehumanized, and killed.

Similar feelings were echoed by Black student organizations, who called for greater transparency, communication and, most of all — action. These sentiments were not new. Many members of the Drexel community had been calling for change for years, and the University had responded by taking significant steps toward advancing diversity, equity and inclusion through a restructuring of the Office of Equality and Diversity and the appointment of a Chief Diversity Officer.

On June 8, 2020, the University held a virtual community discussion on race, which drew more than 700 participants. Out of that forum and many other smaller discussions held with stakeholders across the University, President John Fry announced the formation of the Anti-Racism Task Force on June 26, led by Kim Gholston, vice president and chief diversity officer, in partnership with Aroutis Foster, associate professor of education and associate dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies; Lucy Kerman, senior vice provost for University and Community Partnerships; and Subir Sahu, senior vice president for Student Success.

The larger goal of weaving anti-racism into the very fabric of life at Drexel was also incorporated into the Strategic Plan as an imperative for designing the University's future. Institutions that cultivate diversity and advance equity and inclusion outperform their peers that fail to do so — both in reputation among prospective students, faculty and professional staff, and in their impact upon society. Indeed, rigorously diverse and inclusive universities excel at delivering a high-quality educational experience to every student and at producing transformational top-tier research. Put simply: An inclusive, anti-racist Drexel is a stronger Drexel — more innovative, more effective, more competitive and better positioned to meet the challenges of the next decade and beyond.

With broad representation from undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, professional staff and alumni, the Task Force was charged with critically examining the full range of University activities with the goal of dismantling systemic racism and fostering equity, inclusion and justice. Working committees were built around each of the following areas, which were informed by the feedback received in the wake of Floyd's death and the listening sessions that followed:

  • Undergraduate Student Life
  • Graduate and Doctoral Student Life
  • Admissions and Prospective Students
  • Faculty Recruitment and Retention
  • Academic Curriculum and Program Review
  • Trauma and Mental Health Supports
  • Professional Staff Recruitment and Retention
  • Learning and Education
  • Business Practices
  • Community Engagement
  • Policies and Procedures

The committees were empowered to explore their respective areas with a critical eye and an open mind, letting short- and long-term targets come into focus organically, informed by the testimony of Drexel community members and data collected as part of this project. Committee memberships began to take shape in July 2020, and the committees began their work in earnest in August with an ambitious timeline – the committees were asked to make initial recommendations by the end of September, which would then be refined and finalized by the end of the calendar year. However, the work of making real, concrete and positive change at the University would not wait. As the task force work got underway, the University took the following parallel actions:

Additional accomplishments and milestones reached before the release of this report are detailed in this June 2021 update from the Task Force chairs. While we are proud of these initiatives, the recommendations of the Anti-Racism Task Force detailed in this report make clear that there is more work to be done for Drexel to live up to its stated imperative to "foster and strengthen an inclusive and equity-driven culture."

More than 100 Drexel community members, representing 30 units within the University's colleges, schools and administrative divisions, participated in this work as task force committee leaders, members, advisors and contributors. They performed this work on a strictly volunteer basis, devoting extraordinary amounts of time and effort to this project on an accelerated timeline – all in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic. We are profoundly grateful for their hard and often painful work and their dedication both to Drexel University and to the goal of dismantling systemic racism.

Executive Summary From Task Force Co-Chairs

Events over the this past year have awakened the nation's consciousness about racism, and brought a renewed focus and heightened sense of urgency toward recognizing and confronting racial inequality in our society and institutions. We also know that racial discrimination has deep, historical underpinnings in structural and systemic racism in this country. But we cannot wait any longer. We must attack Racism's root and branch.

In May 2020, in the wake of George Floyd's murder, many students, faculty and professional staff at Drexel University united in solidarity against racism. It was a pivotal moment in our Drexel community, a time of shared pain and anguish, but also one of promise and hope as we came together to recommit ourselves against racism and the many injustices it spawns. While we remain committed to addressing inequities and injustices of all types, the Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF) was intentionally charged with focusing its lens on racism toward Black people as a starting point. However, and importantly, the commitments presented here are intended to support all underrepresented minorities and will be in service of ending racism and inequity in all its forms.

Drexel was one of many universities across the country to look inward with renewed purpose and intensify scrutiny at the roots of racism that impact our students, faculty and professional staff. Over the past year, more than 100 members of our Drexel community volunteered for this effort, dedicating their time and passion to the creation of specific recommendations from one or more of the 11 sub-committees that reflect the full breadth of the University. These volunteers helped create a path forward with the goal of establishing actionable steps for Drexel to take as it continues its journey toward becoming an anti-racist learning institution.

Looking across all of the individual recommendations, the Anti-Racism Task Force offers these six overarching institutional commitments that we believe will create authentic and sustainable change at Drexel. These commitments include:

  • creating inclusive recruitment practices that address potential biases;
  • fostering a culture of anti-racism through learning and education;
  • changing policies and systems through a process that is inclusive, visible and purposeful;
  • providing adequate staffing and resources to offices that set the institutional culture and/or are designed to protect and support people of color;
  • building more diversity in the faculty to include faculty of color, and revising the curriculum in ways that reflect diversity, equity and inclusion and anti-racist pedagogy; and
  • ensuring that our institutional practices around business and community engagement create access and opportunity for neighbors in a way that is genuinely anti-racist and does no harm.

These commitments represent the six broad themes in the report that follows, and are summarized under two "macro themes" that organize our report: Demographic Representation and Culture and Climate. The reach across the entire University and touch all levels and disciplines. We have included the full detail and recommendations from each sub-committee in the Appendix for the Drexel community to review.

It is our hope and expectation that these recommendations, with the engagement of the University community in developing and/or implementing action plans, will drive our collective efforts to become a truly anti-racist institution.

Although this is titled the ARTF Final Report, the work to address racial inequities is ongoing. To those of you who picked up the baton long before George Floyd's tragic death to combat institutional and systemic racism, we thank you. To our true leaders who chaired the 11 ARTF sub-committees, as well as Dr. Tasha Gardner and Ahaji Schreffler, we thank you. To all of you who volunteered your time, your stories, your talent, and your mental and emotional space as a team member on a sub-committee, we thank you. We also give a very special thanks to Patience Ajoff-Foster, PhD, Rachel Natbony, Randall Sell, ScD, and Irene Tsikitas Lin for pulling this work of commitment to anti-racism together as an accountability document for Drexel University.

In community and solidarity against racism,

Aroutis Foster, PhD, Kimberly Gholston, Lucy Kerman, PhD, and Subir Sahu, PhD

Commitments: Demographic Representation

Many of the recommendations focused on an important outcome: increasing the representation of Black/African American faculty, professional staff, and students at Drexel. The four ARTF committees that focused explicitly on recruitment included: i) Admissions and Prospective Students; ii) Graduate and Doctoral Student Life; iii) Faculty Recruitment and Retention; and iv) Professional Staff Recruitment and Retention. These recommendations are intended to increase representation by addressing potential implicit biases in systems, policies, planning groups, leaders and leadership groups, and in how we recruit and advance students, faculty and professional staff.

1. Addressing Potential Biases in Recruitment

There were some common themes in the overall need for coordinated and transparent recruitment processes, as well as some nuances in how the four committees above approached recommendations for students, faculty and professional staff.

Students

The Admissions and Prospective Student Committee recommended that the University enroll a critical mass of Black/African American undergraduate and graduate students with the goal of increasing the percentage of these students over a five-year period ending in 2026 and moving closer toward having Drexel’s student population reflect the representation of Black/African Americans in the United States. The Doctoral and Graduate Student Life committee also recommended that broad, standardized recruitment processes be established to attract students who identified as Black, Indigenous, and people of color. The recommendation to increase the representation of Black/African American students was also mentioned in the Faculty Recruitment and Retention Committee report. Based on the recommendations, University commitments to increase the representation of Black/African American undergraduate and graduate students include:

  • Retaining the test-optional admissions policy to mitigate barriers to the recruitment of Black/African Americans due to systemic and structural disparities that persist. This pilot will run until 2023 and will be reassessed for effectiveness.
  • Requiring DEI awareness, unconscious bias and cultural competency training for recruitment teams and student ambassadors.
  • Identifying and establishing formal memoranda of understanding (MOU) with targeted middle and high schools to provide coaching to students to and through college.
  • Establishing articulation agreements with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Investigating, identifying and implementing preadmission/community college transfer programs with feeder community colleges.
  • Providing transparent actual pricing information.

Faculty

The Faculty Recruitment and Retention Committee recommended that the University establish a goal to increase the representation of Black/African American faculty by 10% during the five-year period from 2021-2026 by establishing inclusive and equitable hiring practices that attract Black/African American faculty. This recommendation arose because Black faculty only constituted about 4.1% (51) of the 1,241 full-time faculty at Drexel in 2020. The Graduate and Doctoral Student Life Committee also stated the need for an increase in the hiring of Black/African American and Latino faculty, as did the Undergraduate Student Life Committee. Based on the recommendations, University commitments include:

  • University leadership making a public commitment, stating a goal and the need to prioritize the recruitment and retention of more Black/African American professors.
  • Developing and implementing a coordinated University-wide faculty recruitment process that includes a centralized data collection requirement for every faculty search.
  • Developing a five-year plan for hiring, including metrics for evaluation and accountability.
  • Developing and implementing a coordinated faculty recruitment process that is clear and consistent across units, with accountability measures. Integrating best practices in inclusive faculty hiring into the recruitment process.
  • Appointing or designating administrator(s) for academic units to facilitate the faculty hiring process.
  • Re-establishing and funding an Africana Studies department.

Professional Staff

A review of internal data showed that 29% of professional staff at Drexel were people of color, who were disproportionately underrepresented in exempt, managerial, and higher EEO grade roles, and overrepresented in non-exempt roles. To mitigate gaps in representation, particularly in exempt roles, the Professional Staff Recruitment and Retention Committee report included the following recommendations that have transitioned into University commitments:

  • Creating a recruitment policy that: outlines best practices and strategies that center diversity, equity and inclusion, contains a comprehensive process spanning the entire recruitment process, and is consistent with Drexel's core values.
  • Tapping into the local West Philadelphia talent by increasing hiring and professional development of the local community.
  • Adding “Equity Partners” to assist with DEI strategic goals, culture of equity shift, programming, education and ensuring equitable hiring practices within the unit.
  • Developing internal talent to alleviate disparity gaps that persist regarding the advancement of people of color.

Overall, the recommendations for increasing representation of Black/African American students, faculty and professional staff highlighted the need for coordinated and intentional processes, explicit policies where appropriate, and specific strategies unique to each of these stakeholder groups. The committee recommendations underscored the fact that while it was important to create access through recruitment strategies, it was equally important to have a campus environment that was welcoming to Black/African Americans who were both members of the Drexel community and neighboring communities.

Commitments: Culture and Climate

While many recommendations addressed increasing representation, as discussed above, many more recommendations focused on Drexel's culture (values in operation including systems, policies, processes, and structures, and artifacts, both visible and invisible) and climate (how Black/African American and people of color experience the organization). These recommendations highlighted ways in which Drexel's culture and climate could be enhanced by centering the needs of Black people while simultaneously highlighting ways in which these recommendations would be beneficial to the entire University.

Recommendations in the culture and climate category are grouped into five main themes: fostering a culture of anti-racism through learning; policies and systems; adequate staffing and resource allocation; faculty diversity and curriculum revisions; and business practices and community engagement.

2. Fostering a Culture of Anti-Racism Through Learning and Education

Although the Leadership, Learning, and Education Committee was specifically charged with focusing its recommendations on the learning and development of the entire Drexel community, all 11 ARTF committees highlighted the need for anti-racism, anti-bias and DEI education. Spotlighted by this committee was the need to “Weave Anti-Racism through all facets of the University's systems and structures and acknowledge harm and disparities to build learning opportunities in support of change, for example, by including systemic racism as one of 'society's most pressing challenges' referenced in our strategic plan.” These recommendations stressed the need for educational opportunities that enhance: faculty competencies in anti-racist, inclusive, and equitable pedagogies; cultural competencies of University leaders and board members; DEI education for professional staff; and education for students. Furthermore, recommendations focused on establishing a baseline for DEI education for all members of the Drexel community, in addition to specialized foci that addressed specific competencies in teaching, supervising, and collaborating across groups and communities at Drexel. Based on the recommendations, the University commitments include:

  • Enhancing racial literacy by creating learning opportunities at the individual and organizational levels through dialogues, and assigned workshops, films and articles.
  • Mandating anti-racism training for all members of the University community.
  • Leveraging faculty expertise to provide guidance and options for culturally responsive counseling and therapy.
  • Impressing upon leaders the need to prioritize anti-racism and DEI learning, to model behaviors, and maintain accountability.
  • Identifying solutions to improve the student experience for marginalized, particularly Black and brown, communities at Drexel by implementing rigorous anti-bias and anti-racist training in undergraduate curriculum and corporate training for co-op placements.
  • Creating an inclusive employee experience that is supported by conditions that reflect and reinforce anti-racism efforts.
  • Establishing a mental health-focused call center.
  • Facilitating group sessions focused on mutual racial identity concerns that include students, faculty and professional staff to share in safe spaces.
  • Launching a social media campaign that draws attention to racial trauma and destigmatizes stress and adversity across the University.
  • Offering supplier inclusion training and awareness to members of the University community to highlight business opportunities and partnerships with the local minority-owned business community.
  • Developing protocols and training for faculty engaged in community-facing research with clear anti-racist principles and values.

3. Policies and Systems

Similar to fostering a culture of anti-racism through learning and education, the need for an examination of policies and systems permeated all 11 ARTF committee recommendations, with the Policies and Procedures Committee focusing on both the University's "philosophical and technical approach to policies and procedures as well as the content of existing University policies and procedures." (Policies and Procedures Committee) The focus here was to "change policies and systems through a process that is intentional and visible when needed." Policy recommendations from this and other committees transitioned to the following University commitments:

  • Defining key terms essential to the University's anti-racism agenda.
  • Ensuring significant representation of Black community members during the development and enforcement of policies.
  • Maintaining transparency in the University's anti-racism efforts through communication.
  • Committing to regular policy reviews using an equity lens.
  • Transforming the Program Alignment and Review (PAR) process to include an equity audit.
  • Establishing policies, processes and initiatives throughout the faculty lifecycle that ensure the retention of Black faculty.
  • Conducting in-depth analyses to uncover potential biases within specific promotion and tenure processes.
  • Developing and fostering ongoing mentoring mechanisms for Black faculty.
  • Tracking and reporting data related to faculty workload and performing a pay equity audit.

4. Adequate Staffing and Resource Allocation

Nearly all 11 ARTF committees recognized the need to "adequately staff offices that set the institutional culture and/or are designed to protect and support people of color: Office of Equality and Diversity, Student Life, Counseling and Health Services, Office of the Provost, University Communications, etc." To that end, the Faculty Recruitment and Retention, Professional Staff Recruitment and Retention, Trauma and Mental Health Supports, and Policies and Procedures committees identified specific positions that ought to be created and/or prioritized to ensure that these offices had the resources needed to implement the recommendations. The University commitments based on the recommendations include:

  • Hiring Black and brown faculty and professional staff in counseling and therapeutic spaces to ensure equity and consistency of service and enhance trauma and mental health services for students, faculty and professional staff.
  • Hiring a Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion whose focus is on faculty diversity, inclusion and belonging.
  • Staffing the Office of Equality and Diversity appropriately to effectively address the needs of the community.
  • Adequately resourcing and staffing offices that are dedicated to community engagement and community-facing work.
  • Improving the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color on Drexel's campus through existing programs like the LeBow BRIDGE (Build Relationships in Diverse Group Experiences).
  • Investing in and uplifting Black student organizations.
  • Creating funding opportunities to address specific needs, especially during instances of emergency.

5. Faculty Diversity and Curriculum Revisions

Adjoined by the recommendations from the Academic Review and Curriculum Committee, the theme of faculty diversity and curriculum revisions aims to “Build more diversity in the faculty and revise the curriculum in ways that reflect student interest and advance the University's mission and strategic plan.” Recommendations from this and other committees that are University commitments include:

  • Establishing a committee that would provide a roadmap for creating, implementing and reviewing anti-racist curricular standards across departments so they can perform anti-racism audits.
  • Examining core curriculum to begin addressing need for anti-racist pedagogies across departments and eliminate inequalities in academic success.
  • Peer reviewing syllabi to ensure content is inclusive and racially relevant.
  • Fostering equity and creating opportunities for Black students to participate in higher education by adopting curricula that reflect the history and culture of Black people.
  • Adding DEI-related requirements to accompany math, science and English general education requirements.
  • Establishing and articulating a focus on social justice as part of the University's strategies to increase diversity among faculty.
  • Adding a Drexel Student Core Competency focused on diversity, equity and inclusion that includes anti-racism and cultural competence.
  • Offering ongoing anti-racism pedagogy training.
  • Creating a culture of inclusion and belonging for community building, resource sharing, and accountability from onboarding throughout the faculty life cycle to improve retention outcomes for Black faculty.

6. Business Practices and Community Engagement

Two ARTF committees, Business Practices and Community Engagement, were convened specifically to examine Drexel's practices in these areas and provide recommendations. Their emphasis was to “ensure that our institutional practices around business and community engagement create access and opportunity for neighbors in a way that is genuinely anti-racist and does no harm” in our education, research, and business partnerships. Recommendations highlighted ways in which the University can continue to work with the Black community in West Philadelphia and the broader Philadelphia community by adopting an equity and anti-racism approach. The University commitments based on these recommendations include:

  • Reassessing and reimagining community-engaged teaching, research and learning approaches for projects in partnership with the Black community in West Philadelphia; co-developing with the community a vision of what anti-racist engagement would be to promote a culture of respectful and equitable community engagement.
  • Undertaking a community planning process to define a shared vision for an anti-racist community engagement approach to ensure equity in practices and programs that directly impact the community in which it resides. This should include an examination and accounting of Drexel's impact on the neighborhoods around the University's campus.
  • Championing access to equitable education opportunities for students residing in West Philadelphia, including deepening beneficial partnerships with Promise Zone schools and developing an intentional approach to recruiting and supporting local students at Drexel.
  • Publicly acknowledging historical and present-day impact of University expansion, policies and practices on its surrounding historical Black communities, and co-develop a reconciliation plan with community.
  • Reimagining public safety at Drexel, including an external review of DUPD and an increased investment in mental health supports for the campus community. Invest in a comprehensive campus safety model to mitigate practices that make community residents susceptible of profiling and police misconduct.
  • Examining practices in real estate development that put the community at risk for displacement due to increasing housing cost burden.
  • Developing a “Good Neighbor Initiative” with Student Life to address off-campus student attitudes and behaviors.
  • Considering welcoming programming and community access to on-campus facilities, including the Library and Recreation Center.
  • Creating clear and welcoming entry points on Drexel's website for the community to engage with University, with a full inventory of community initiatives on campus.
  • Increasing direct spending with diverse and local businesses.
  • Removing contracting process barriers to local and minority-owned business participation.
  • Collaborating and partnering with community organizations to enhance access to opportunities for partnerships with local businesses.

Monitoring Success

Included in the recommendations from all committees was the need for transparency and accountability regarding implementation and progress toward addressing these recommendations. This ought to include a clear plan that is made public to both members of Drexel and the local community. Consequently, this report recognizes 63 specific commitments from the 11 ARTF committees that the University has chosen to focus on first.

These commitments, as described above, are meant to accomplish one or both of two interrelated goals: 1) increasing demographic representation; and 2) improving the culture and climate for Black students, faculty and professional staff at Drexel University. To that end, Drexel is committing to improving systems to monitor and publicly report representation data, and to regularly survey students, faculty and professional staff to assess climate and examine trends. The University will also qualitatively assess yearly its progress toward each of the 63 commitments.

The table below outlines the two macro themes used to frame the commitments, their definitions, and proposed implementation and success monitoring approach for the baseline year 1.

Macro Theme, Definition and Evaluation

Offices Responsible for Implementation

Committee Report Offices Responsible for Implementation
Academic Curriculum and Program Review Office of the Provost
Office of Faculty Advancement and Undergraduate Affairs
Faculty Senate
Office of Undergraduate Student Affairs
Admissions and Prospective Students Enrollment Management
Student Life
Business Practices Office of Procurement Services
Office of University and Community Partnerships
Office of Government and Community Relations
Community Engagement Office of Government and Community Relations
Office of University and Community Partnerships
University Facilities
Faculty Recruitment and Retention Office of the Provost
Office of Faculty Affairs
Office of Research and Innovation
Faculty Senate
Office of Equality and Diversity/Human Resources
Graduate and Doctoral Student Life Graduate College
Office of Research and Innovation
Office of Faculty Advancement
Leadership, Learning, and Education Human Resources
Office of Equality and Diversity
Office of Faculty Advancement
Policies and Procedures Policies and Procedures Human Resources
Office of Faculty Advancement
Office of Compliance, Privacy, and Internal Audit
Professional Staff Recruitment and Retention Human Resources
Office of Equality and Diversity
Trauma and Mental Health Supports Student Life
Graduate College
Human Resources
Undergraduate Student Life Student Life
Institutional Advancement
Steinbright Career Development Center
Enrollment Management
Undergraduate Affairs

Appendix: Subcommittee Details

Undergraduate Student Life

Graduate and Doctoral Student Life

Admissions and Prospective Students

Faculty Recruitment and Retention

Academic Curriculum and Program Review

Trauma and Mental Health Supports

Professional Staff Recruitment and Retention

Learning and Education

Business Practices

Community Engagement

Policies and Procedures

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