Inside Towson University's inaugural diversity strategic plan

November 29, 2020

Leah Cox, Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity, offers insight into ‘A More Inclusive TU’

diversity strat plan

Towson University recently published its inaugural diversity strategic plan.

The completion of this plan has taken place during a time where the nation is addressing and focusing on the issues of institutional and systemic racism, inequality and social justice using an anti-racist lens. This plan is designed to meet TU’s aspiration to become a more inclusive and equitable institution of distinction.

The plan, ”A More Inclusive TU: Advancing Equity and Diversity (2020–25)”, is firmly grounded in the premise that TU's ongoing success is dependent on our capacity to shift perspectives and approaches and strategically place diversity, equity and inclusion at the core of our mission.

Leah Cox, Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity, recently took some time to answer a few questions to introduce the new strategic plan to the university community.

What does the diversity strategic plan provide for the university?

The plan provides a roadmap to creating a more inclusive TU, focused on using an equity lens to advance teaching, learning, engagement and equitable access in a diverse community. This plan is consistent with the university wide plan that strives to move the university towards inclusive excellence.

How did this plan come together?

Through the hard work of multiple members of the campus community who served on the task force. Numerous focus groups, the collection of climate surveys, and reviewing existing data, the committee worked to create a plan that would support the findings and voices of the members of our community.

How does it fit into TU’s priority for creating a diverse and inclusive campus community?

The plan is the beginning of the next phase of moving TU closer to becoming an institution focused on inclusive excellence. The Presidential Priorities are still a major focus of the plan moving us to grow in areas that need our attention, and continue to enhance the areas where we have seen some success.

This plan sets forth a path for the next 5 years. What does success look like for TU?

Success will be measured by a more diverse faculty and staff; continued graduation rates for underrepresented students that are above the national average; continuing to develop a sense of belonging for all members of our campus and increasing the cultural competence of every member of our campus. Those are just a few goals we hope to address for measurable change.

How can TU students, faculty & staff get involved?

We are willing to partner with all members of the campus. We welcome emails or calls if they are interested in committee work, participating in programming or setting up education and training for their unit or office to further cultural competence. Read the plan and determine how your unit or department can begin to address some of the goals.

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: Diverse and Inclusive Campus.