Dear Cabrini community,
In our video communication at the beginning of this month, I responded about the experiences shared through direct messages, virtual meetings, and social media such as the Black@Cabrini Instagram account. I sincerely want to thank students, alumni, faculty and staff who have come forward to bravely share their stories, and I want to update the community on the actions the University is taking to address these and other incidents.
The experiences that have been shared are heartbreaking, and I am sorry that the actions of members of the Cabrini community, and the inaction of the institution, have caused such pain and heartache. It is my responsibility and the responsibility of the institution and its administration to ensure we live up to the ideals of our namesake, Mother Cabrini, and we know we need to do better.
We also know an apology is not enough. Toward that end, we continue to move forward with immediate corrective steps that will begin to address some of the concerns shared.
- We are undertaking a full review of the programming models and organizational structure of SEaL, CAP Board, and Diversity Initiatives, and will be implementing policies that these areas and others in Student Life incorporate cultural best practices that mirror the current student body at Cabrini.
- Additional resources will be earmarked for the Office of Diversity Initiatives, with the intent on it becoming a standalone department with initiatives and measures embedded across every department of the institution and a focus on creating a safe space and the appropriate support, mentorship, and professional development resources to successfully and efficiently address the concerns of Cabrini’s BIPOC community members.
- As part of this focus on Diversity Initiatives, Cabrini commits to appropriate and thoughtful celebrations and recognition of holidays and designated days and months honoring cultural backgrounds, such as Black History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Indigenous Peoples Day, etc.
- Ongoing anti-racism, anti-bias, and diversity training, mandatory for all employees and students, will be conducted in person when possible and will continue throughout the academic year.
- Cabrini’s hiring policies adhere to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission standards and best practices, but we also commit to re-evaluating our hiring practices to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are appropriately considered throughout the hiring process for all open positons. Effective immediately, all open positions will be promoted in multiple recruitment resources that serve underrepresented demographics in order to increase the diversity of our applicant pool, and we will work with faculty, staff, and alumni of color to quickly develop the measurements and strategies through which we will achieve a diverse and inclusive workplace, including how we best retain, support, and elevate employees of color once hired.
- We are working with our colleagues of color to establish relevant mentorship and professional development resources and protocols to ensure the institution is supporting, elevating, and appropriately acknowledging the work and insightful leadership of our faculty and staff of color.
- Working through our Alumni Engagement team and the Alumni Board, Cabrini is creating mentorship and development program that connects students and alumni of color. We are working with our alumni, students, and employees to advise, develop, and grow the program and expect the initial framework to be in place by the start of the fall semester.
- We are also working through the Center for Career and Professional Development to ensure appropriate programming and resources to serve students of color.
- Cabrini will be creating and implementing feedback/comment cards for the Cavalier Express Center and Financial Aid Office, among other student-facing departments, to complement existing feedback methods. These customer service cards will be available by the start of the fall semester.
- By the start of the fall semester, EthicsPoint will be updated to include a clear path for reporting incidents of racial, ethnic, and cultural discrimination and harassment. EthicsPoint has already been made available as a QuickLink on the Cabrini Portal, and the use of the online, anonymous reporting tool enables the institution to launch an investigation into any and every submission. Each submission is received by a diverse group of individuals, including Human Resources representatives, who are dedicated to investigating and enacting the appropriate protocols and procedures.
- We are committed to evaluating our disciplinary protocols as articulated in the Student, Faculty, and Employee handbooks and ensuring that appropriate and enforceable protocols are in place surrounding incidents of racism.
- We have reached out to the Radnor Police Department to seek a meeting to address concerns surrounding (and with the goal of ending) racial profiling in Radnor and surrounding areas.
I am also promising that diversity, equity, inclusion, and mission have a greater role at Cabrini, not only in this upcoming year, but as an integrated action in our upcoming Strategic Plan and in the future. We will implement the long-overdue and much-needed systemic changes to the University. Some changes will require more time than others, but we are working on integral and fundamental change and actionable solutions through a truly inclusive process that respects and addresses the multiple voices of those who previously felt they did not have a voice. We are committed to doing this right.
Cabrini University is conducting a holistic audit of not only academic programming, but all departments, schools, and services. It is within this innovation of the institution that we will work with the faculty to update the core curriculum and ensure appropriate investment of resources in academic programming like Black Studies, Latin American Studies, and Gender Studies programs, in addition to the full audit of the University’s structure and organization and how we can reflect diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of a systemic reworking of the institution. Although some initiatives have already started, this work will begin in earnest in August, and we will be providing progress updates to the campus community throughout the year.
As we work together to implement these systemic changes, we will continue to press and ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion is a driving force for Cabrini, now and into the future.
In the Cabrini spirit,
Donald B. Taylor, PhD