Strategic Planning Group will convene committee to assess inclusivity, further goals

Geneseo’s strategic planning group continues to work on revising current goals to meet the college’s priorities and vision, including the expansion of both student and faculty diversity on campus. 

The group is constantly reevaluating the details of the plan to better meet goals and to ensure progress towards those goals. 

The leader for the strategic planning group, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Stacey Robertson, said the group consists of several subcommittees who are meeting to develop strategies to achieve the desired outcomes.

“One important aspect of all of this is ensuring that we have the resources that we need to achieve our strategic priorities,” Robertson said. “So each subcommittee is also thinking about what they need in terms of resources to achieve their goals this year and they’ll be reporting back to us and then we’ll be working with the budget priorities committee and the president to ensure that we can allocate the appropriate resources to the appropriate areas.” 

A current initiative the college has begun is building a web platform to interact with the community about the development of the strategic plan. The main goal of this platform is to receive feedback from the community while also keeping them updated on the progress behind the plan, according to Robertson.

Another current and relevant issue to the strategic planning group is inclusion. “[A subgroup dedicated to creating a strategic diversity plan strives for] recruitment support and retention of diversity within our population [and] increasing opportunities for exploring cultural competency both for students and for employees both curricularly and co-curricularly,” according to Chief Diversity Officer robbie routenberg.

“I’ll give the example within the access and success category that asks us to really think about recruiting, supporting, and retaining a more diverse student,” routenberg said. “It requires us to really be thinking about, ‘how do we understand the campus climate’ and ‘how do we make sure that everybody does feel supported and welcome … across any identity group.’”  

One specific thing that is under consideration is increasing the diversity of staff to create a more inclusive community as a whole. The initiative in planning is a learning community centered around diversity in faculty hiring, according to Robertson.

Students, like communication major senior Jiovanni Moore, have questioned how this initiative will affect the diversity of the student body itself, referencing that students don’t often see faculty on tours, or connect with them in large classrooms.

“I feel like there’s better ways to do that. I don’t agree completely, but I don’t completely disagree because I don’t feel like I have to relate to my teachers at all times,” Moore said. “If I’m in a class with 150 students, having a teacher of color doesn’t really do much.”

Students, such as political science major senior Hilda Gomez, believe a diverse student body is a better reflection of inclusivity on campus for prospective students. 

“I get how that would help, but also when people go on tours, I don’t think they see professors working,” Gomez said. “I feel like maybe the students could be more diverse, maybe that would impact it.’  

Both students felt as though the administration should reach out to more diverse areas, such as New York City, where Moore and Gomez are both from. Neither student had Geneseo representatives come to their high schools to talk to them. They had to make the five-hour trip to learn about Geneseo, which they feel could deter a lot of students from having interest in the school.