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Diversity Advisory Council

The University of Montana

Meeting Minutes - October 19, 2012


Blakely Brown, Jinann Bitar, Mika Watanabe, Melissa Steinike, Kelsi Camp, Rhondie Voorhees, Jacquie Hofmann, Lucy France, Bharath Srirman, Barb Seekins, Cary Shimek, George Price

Introductions and Announcements

Melissa announced that the Day of Dialogue is October 25th and encouraged everyone to attend.

Barb announced that foreign student enrollment is increased over last fall by 32%.

Lucy announced that Maria Cole attended the SACNAS conference in October and had an exhibit with Jenny McNulty. This was an effort to work our pipeline, and the two of them collected contact information for future recruitment.

Mika mentioned that she was recently in Japan and over 30 UM alumni gathered for an event to share memories.

Jacquie provided the allocations of the budget in the past. For FY13 the allocation from the President’s Office is $10,354. In the past DAC has allocated funding for a social with the Law School, International Food and Culture Festival, UM Allies, DAC Student Achievement Award reception, mini-grants, and a variety of faculty/student/staff diversity-related projects. This year we have allocated funding for refreshments and at this point we need to determine if the allocations of the past should be carried over this year or if they should be changed. For faculty/staff requests, at this point in time there are no criteria and there are no policies or procedures defined. Lucy and Jacquie volunteered to put together some guidelines and a procedure and bring it to the next meeting. The committee agreed that the DAC should continue to provide funding when available for faculty/staff requests. Clarification was also made that the DAC no longer funds the Kyi-Yo Pow Wow. Jacquie clarified that the Borgman award does not come out of the DAC budget. Lucy makes a motion to not fund the social with the Law School and the Council agreed with her motion. Jacquie will move $3985 into the faculty/staff requests line.

Kelsi explained that the DAC will have a table the Day of Dialogue and sent around a sign-up sheet for volunteering to staff the table. In the past, the DAC table at the WelcomeFeast received visits from lots of students with a variety of diversity-related questions.

Lucy explained that Council can start assessing the action items/goals from the Diversity Strategic Plan using Moodle. The Council can indicate if an entity on campus is taking on the action item/goal and what the progress on that item is. Blakely added that each meeting we could spend an allotted amount of time on this task. Lucy noted that the idea of the DAC is to advise, not to do the actual work. Jacquie likes the idea of the DAC keeping the Diversity Plan alive on campus. Bharath asked if there was data on any of these items like 2.6.5 and Lucy explained that there are in some cases. For 2.6.5 Maria Cole is working to gather information from exit interviews for retention. Jinann stressed that it would be more productive if the Council knew which sections would be discussed beforehand so they could come to the meeting prepared. Jinann asked if there is a definition for “historically underrepresented populations” and Lucy explained that it follows those defined by Affirmative Action. For the December meeting the DAC will discuss Goals 2.5 and 2.6. The following people should be invited to the next meeting to add to the discussion: Shelia Wright, Cindy Boies, Amy Kinch, Maria Cole, and Chris Firoie, Diana Lurie. Rhondie suggested changing the working for Goal 2.6 to “increase retention” instead of “ensure retention”. Rhondie and Jinann feel that more explanation is needed for Goal 2.6 between the definition of “historically underrepresented populations” from the Diversity Plan and the Affirmative Action.

Blakely has requested a Moodle shell for the DAC and this document will be posted.  Discussion can then occur in Moodle prior to the next meeting. Jacquie suggested that the responsible parties be engaged by members of the DAC to work more in partnership. Rhondie suggested adding the strategic choice to the document before it is added to Moodle.

The DAC also consists of several subcommittees and this should be focused on at the next meeting so people can volunteer for subcommittees.

Bharath asked why the DAC budget has not increased for at least the last three years. Lucy and Jacquie explained that the Council is lucky to receive funding. Rhondie suggested a poster campaign surrounding the importance of diversity and believes it could send a powerful message and could be a great visual symbol. Blakely suggested a poster design contest for students for a poster campaign. Lucy suggested focusing on Goal 1.2 at the next meeting. George we also need to focus on where we want to be in terms of diversity as well as focusing on the current diversity on campus. Also why is diversity is important is a topic that could use awareness. Jinann suggested having Tim Praetzel at the meeting next month. Carey suggested Jen Sauer and Neil Wiegart from Printing and Graphics. Blakely also suggested a big push to get more students here next month.