March 18, 2013 | 1:43 p.m.
By Michelle Westlund, Communications Specialist
A months-long, campus-wide diversity mapping study has reached completion, and results will soon be presented to the Bethel community. The project began when Bethel’s Reconciliation Task Forcerecommended an institutional diversity master plan, with the diversity mapping study as part of that process. The mapping study “is a process of inquiry that takes stock of current diversity efforts across a campus,” says Leon Rodrigues, Bethel’s chief diversity officer. “It pinpoints where diversity efforts take place, identifies their nature and effectiveness, and locates gaps in current efforts or redundancy in programming.”
Diversity mapping will help to align current programs and initiatives with Bethel’s mission, values, principles, goals, outcomes, and resource allocations, allowing the plotting of actual engagement with and implementation of diversity efforts. The results will be used to inform a forthcoming diversity master plan, which will aim to build a coherent strategy for diversity at Bethel.
The diversity mapping study, which began in summer 2102, was conducted by the independent research firm Halualani and Associates who “offers a unique approach, with well-grounded analytical frameworks and research methodology,” according to Rodrigues. The firm provides a visual map that identifies current efforts and their relationships to institutional practices and themes. “What I liked about their approach,” continues Rodrigues, “is that it’s asset-based, indicating what we are currently doing and giving us information that will help us decide how to strengthen our impact.”
The final report will be presented to the Bethel community later this semester to provide a chance for faculty, staff, and students to engage with the report and with the researchers. Update: (March 15) The event scheduled for March 18 from 3-4:40 p.m. in the Underground has been postponed.