Director’s Corner

Welcome back to another exciting year at UD!  We have been working hard striving towards inclusive excellence during the spring and summer months.  Read what we’ve been up to below.

I am pleased to announce the University of Delaware has adopted a revised non-discrimination policy that applies to all members of the University community and went into effect Aug. 1, 2017.  The policy expresses opposition to discrimination and harassment and prohibits such behavior by anyone on UD’s property, and it assists the University to comply with federal and state civil rights laws in relation to such misconduct.

The new policy brings together the resources, reporting mechanisms and resolution processes for students, faculty, staff, visitors and vendors. It centralizes information and compliance — which was previously located in various policies and departments — to one office on campus: the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI).  In addition, the new document outlines the procedure for investigating student cases, which has changed from a full hearing to one-on-one guidance from a trained professional, mirroring the sexual misconduct policy.

The revisions to UD’s policy were made in consultation with a committee charged by myself and Dean of Students, José Riera. The group consisted of University faculty, students and leaders from various units, including Residence Life and Housing, UD Police, Athletics, Center for Black Culture, Office of Student Conduct, Office for International Students and Scholars, Human Resources and Graduate and Professional Education. The President’s Executive Committee approved the policy.

In addition, the University adopted three policies this past academic year that OEI now manages, in an effort to ensure the protection of minors – individuals who have not reached their 18th birthday – while attending programs, camps, and other events held on the University of Delaware property or in University facilities.  The policies are as follows:

  • Minors on campus (sponsored or organized by the University): This policy is applicable for programs sponsored or organized by University employees, volunteers, and/or organizations on behalf of or in the name of the University.
  • Minors on campus (sponsored or organized by third parties): This policy is applicable for programs sponsored or organized by third parties.
  • Reporting of suspected child abuse: This policy addresses the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse and/or neglect.

Each program is required to register with the University and have adequate sign-in/sign-out procedures and an appropriate number of adult supervisors based on the ages of the participants. Requirements for the staff and volunteers include background checks and training.  For more information about these important policies, please contact Jessica Rickmond, Associate Director, in our office.

I am pleased to announce the updated Statement of Respect & Responsibility as seen here on our Values website.  This statement was a result of the hard work from the members of the Respect & Civility Committee charged by the VP, Diversity with oversight from OEI.   The final membership of that committee is outlined below:

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The members of the Respect Committee include:

Communications & Public Affairs Holly Norton
Disability Support Services Anne Jannarone
Equity and Inclusion Jennifer Daniels
  Jessica Rickmond*
Facilities, Real Estate & Auxiliary Services Sheila Boyle
  Jo Alice Casapulla
  Banlusack Phommachanh
Graduate Student Senate Cesar Caro
Human Resources Patty Fogg*
Information Technology Kate Webster
LGBTQ Caucus Karla Bell
The Libraries Julie Brewer
Student Government Association Matthew Rojas
Student Life Katie Rizzo
UDPD Jeff Evans

*Co-chairs

Finally, it is my hope for those that live, work and learn in our community to treat one another with dignity, respect and civility at all times.  Working in the office of equity and inclusion, I see too many situations that result in matters of us simply not being kind to one another, not respectful to each other and not civil to those that work and learn with us.  As the esteemed Mayo Angelou stated, “When we know better, we do better.”  I know that we as Blue Hens can and will rise to make this year a happy, healthy and safe 2017-2018.

Sincerely,

Susan L. Groff, Ed. D.

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