Diversity Officers
Vision and Voice for Catholic Higher Education      Learn More

 

 

Racial Justice:

See how Catholic higher ed is responding to calls for justice.

 

 

Free Resource:

Read about practical ways to integrate Hispanic and Latinx traditions into your campus.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officers

 

SAVE THE DATE!!!

2022 Consortium for Senior Diversity Officers in Catholic Higher Education Conference

Saturday, February 5, 2022

8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Join us in-person at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC for this year's conference. Can't wait to see you there!

Many thanks to our 2022 Consortium for Senior Diversity Officers in Catholic Higher Education Conference Planning Committee for their assistance in planning this year's conference!

Lawrence A. Burnley, Vice President, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, University of Dayton
Allison Heard, Director, Office of Institutional Diversity, Title IX Coordinator, University of Saint Francis
Br. Ernest Miller, FSC, Vice President of Mission, Diversity and Inclusion, La Salle University
Liz Ortiz, Vice President of Institutional Diversity and Equity, DePaul University
Patricia Pratt-Cook, Sr. Vice President Human Resources, Equity, and Inclusion, St. Catherine University
 

 

In 2015–16, over 40% of the student body population in Catholic higher education was non-white. Over the past six years, the number of white students enrolled in Catholic colleges and universities decreased by 8%, while the number of Hispanic students increased by 38%. Currently, 29 ACCU member colleges are identified as Minority-Serving Institutions, including Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Predominantly Black Institutions, and one HBCU (Historically Black College or University). An additional 17 institutions serve student body populations that are over 50% non-white.

To address these demographics, ACCU has offered a selection of events and resources to the Catholic higher education community. Most recently, it has helped coordinate the launch of a new professional association: Consortium of Senior Diversity Officers in Catholic Higher Education. Details about the group can be found here and below.

In conjunction with its 2022 Annual Meeting, ACCU will once again offer a dedicated pre-conference session for those who fulfill this vital campus role.

 

Mission: 

To provide a forum for diversity professionals and university leaders to develop an equity- mindedness framework combining faith, reason, and eliminating systemic and structural barriers to access and opportunity in Catholic higher education and in the broader society.

History

In 2019, DePaul University collaborated with the University of Notre Dame to launch the Consortium of Diversity Officers in Catholic Higher Education. In August 2019, the group held its inaugural convening on DePaul's Loop Campus to discuss the incorporation and intersection of mission, Catholic values, and faith in diversity, equity, and inclusion work.

Twenty-two diversity professionals and religious leaders from universities across the country attended the two-day summer retreat. The group used a pastoral letter on racism, issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as a vehicle for the discussion. The group used the pastoral letter as the starting point of an ongoing conversation regarding the meaning and varying strategies to incorporate Catholic social justice teaching and institutional mission into the work of diversity and inclusion in Catholic higher education. The retreat served as an essential first step in discussing DEI through the lens of Catholic education and in the formation of a network of diversity professionals.

Participants at the first retreat developed a camaraderie and shared similar experiences, and discussed strategies for driving institutional change and the importance of developing a network that provides guiding principles to diversity officers and university leaders. The Consortium hopes to transform systems through collective action and to provide thought leadership on what it means to exist in faith, developing equitable diversity and inclusion systems and guiding Catholic higher education.

The Consortium held a second retreat hosted by Creighton University in September 2020, with 33 participants. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the retreat was virtual, but provided the opportunity for diversity officers to discuss antiracism efforts on their campuses and continue conversations on formalizing the group structure. Following the Creighton University retreat, the Consortium spent the fall drafting its mission and purpose, and developing an action plan for a larger convening as part of the 2021 ACCU Annual Meeting.  Historical documents from the related meetings can be found here.

Purpose:

  1. Connection: Create a space for diversity officers in Catholic higher education to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and create a sense of community.
  2. Collective Action: Advocate for action-based programs and initiatives that disrupt and transform Catholic higher education.
  3. Collaboration: Collaborate and share best practices for internal synergy with mission officers, presidents, and other university leaders to develop equity-mindedness and social justice.
  4. Creation: DEI Guiding Principles inform diversity and executive leaders on what must be done to achieve equity in ACCU institutions.
  5. Communication: Provide a forum for DEI learning. Intellectual contributions and communique on DEI positions on current issues