Muhlenberg Approves Diversity Strategic Plan

Six goals express ‘Berg’s diversity aspirations for the next five years

Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:38:00 EST

Muhlenberg College’s Board of Trustees has approved the College’s first comprehensive Diversity Strategic Plan. The plan identifies six broad goals and numerous specific initiatives designed to make the campus a more diverse and inclusive community and provides the necessary resources to implement the plan. Building on past institutional efforts, the plan’s six goals express Muhlenberg’s diversity aspirations for the next five years.

The six goals outlined in the plan are:

  1. Cultivate a campus community that is supportive of inclusion, justice and social equality.
  2. Actively recruit and retain a student body with increasing numbers of students from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups. 
  3. Actively recruit and retain more faculty and staff from those racial and ethnic groups that have had limited access to careers in higher education. 
  4. Strengthen the depth and complexity of teaching and learning about diversity.
  5. Engage more deeply with the diverse communities of Allentown and the Lehigh Valley.
  6. Assign responsibility for the measurement, assessment, and coordination of diversity initiatives.

President Randy Helm, who chaired the Diversity Strategic Planning Committee, remarked, “The Muhlenberg community has strived to become more diverse and inclusive over many years, but we have been keenly aware that we could and should do better.  This comprehensive plan, our first such comprehensive plan aimed at building and sustaining a more diverse and inclusive campus community, will accelerate those efforts and enable us to fulfill more of our aspirations for the College.”

Image to accompany Diversity Strategic Plan release.

(Image from Muhlenberg's 2014 Celebration of Diversity Programming. Muhlenberg invited alumni, staff, faculty and current students to lead discussions about inclusion and community.)

The Diversity Strategic Planning Committee included four faculty elected by the faculty; two faculty appointed by the President; four students selected by the Diversity Vanguard; one student selected by the President of Student Government; three staff chosen by the President from self-nominations; one alumnus chosen by the President from self-nominations; one Trustee appointed by the Board Chair from self-nominations; five ex officio staff members; and the President, who served as chair of the committee. The Diversity Strategic Planning Committee engaged members of the Muhlenberg community – students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents – who contributed to the planning process by submitting potential initiatives, participating in small group discussions, a public forum, a gallery walk exercise and commenting on the draft of the plan when it was posted. 

The plan acknowledges that there is much work to be done and attempts to formalize a series of goals and initiatives that can be implemented and monitored broadly across campus. The plan challenges members of the Muhlenberg community to embrace the collaborative work that lies ahead. While the plan is an important step, the Diversity Strategic Planning Committee acknowledged that much work will be necessary if the College is to achieve the aspirations for inclusive excellence expressed in this strategic plan and hopes that future plans will build on the momentum achieved during its implementation.