Dr. Melissa Morriss-Olson
With the goal of fostering a community that is respectful and open to the diversity of ideas, thoughts, cultural perspectives and human identities, in early November 2015, President Carol Leary issued a call to action to establish a highly inclusive diversity task force at Bay Path University.
Since that time, a campus-wide task force has been formed comprised of students, faculty, staff, trustees, and other key stakeholders. Under the leadership of Dr. Melissa Morriss-Olson, provost, Dr. Kris Barnett, vice provost and dean of liberal studies, and Elizabeth Cardona, executive director of international and multicultural student life, the task force met in January 2016 to begin this important work, beginning with identifying the scope of work and reviewing the statement and charge that serve as the foundation of this initiative.
Working over a period of six months, the Task Force developed the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, which includes overall goals as well as specific tasks for achieving a diverse and integrated campus community. The Action Plan takes into captures commitments the University will make to ensure that the factors that create a person’s unique identity, such as race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or socioeconomic background, creates and is reflected in a welcoming and enriching environment for all.
The President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion concluded its work in October 2016 and the Diversity and Inclusion Community Council was established to continue the work and specifically to steward the execution of the Action Plan. The Council recognizes the multitude of ways that each member of the University community is unique and seeks to promote a community where individual differences are welcomed and encouraged to create a unified, accepting, and respectful community.