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Strategic Imperative

Foster Diversity and Cultural Competency in a Global Context

In this section you will find a number of documents related to campus efforts focused on achieving and maintaining ‘inclusive excellence” for our students, faculty and staff. These documents serve as a way for you, the reader, to be informed about the goals we set, as we align our vision and progress achieved. As we affirm our institutional values, we recognize we have much work to do. We also believe it is important to inform others on our initiatives, goals, and strategies for strengthening and maintaining an inclusive campus culture and increasing our diversity.

From 2009 to 2012, Cal Poly went through the WASC accreditation process.  This process required Cal Poly to engage in a self-study and to take a critical look at many facets of campus life and academic scholarship.  In the re-accreditation report, Cal Poly received strong marks in many areas and recommendations for future improvement.  One of the areas noted again for improvement was the area of diversity and inclusion.  

In 2013, Cal Poly implemented the Campus Climate Project. This was a university-wide effort conducted by Rankin & Associates Consulting to assess the campus culture and provide recommendations to "build on the successes and address initiatives to improve the overall campus climate." A campus climate survey was implemented in 2013 and the results were provided in fall 2014. A summary of these results are found in this section.

The results of this survey led to the development of the Cal Poly Diversity Strategic Framework.  The Framework provides four main goals that align with the President's vision for achieving campus diversity and inclusive excellence. These goals establish the foundation for our work in the future. A copy of this Framework is found in this section.

Concurrently, under the president’s leadership, the campus master plan was updated. The team charged with this initiative worked to ensure that future enrollment expectations were defined, and expected outcomes of the master plan aligned with the university’s core values of “learn by doing” and “high impact student learning.”  One aspect of the student learning goal was to address space use, including the need for space for affinity group gatherings, cultural centers, ensuring gender-neutral bathrooms in all new building designs, lactation stations, and other aspects important to an inclusive campus and fulfilling the goals of this strategic imperative.

In 2015, consistent with movements across the nation, a group of Cal Poly students submitted a list of 'demands' (changes) aimed at improving campus climate and diversifying the campus in all aspects. Cal Poly has historically been a predominately white, male majority student, faculty and staff represented campus. After California Proposition 209 passed, the number of enrolled students from historically underrepresented minority groups declined. In addition, Cal Poly continued on a trajectory to become a highly selective state institution and selected the most academically successful applicants. As a state institution, Cal Poly also lacked scholarships and additional funding resources to assist low income students - although very qualified for Cal Poly - were unable to bear the burden of the total cost of attendance, and therefore elected to attend other institutions. Only in recent years have we seen an increase in female students, and in some of the historically underrepresented minority populations - though at much lower rates.

Following a number of meetings and discussions, Cal Poly Administration responded to student, staff and faculty requests to address these concerns. To track initiatives and short-term progress, the Diversity and Inclusion Draft Action Plan was developed. The list of actions evolved from a number of meetings and discussions held across the campus. Individual senior leaders were appointed to ensure that the action items were addressed in a timely and thoughtful manner. The Diversity and Inclusion Draft Action Plan was considered to be a living document, hence "Draft," and remain amenable to changes and modifications. In addition, the document would be updated at the end of each Quarter to demonstrate progress and accountability. A copy of the most recent Draft Action Plan can be found in this section.

All of Cal Poly is actively engaged in increasing, recognizing and celebrating our diversity and in building inclusive excellence. As different departments, colleges and individuals worked toward achieving the diversity strategic imperative, it became apparent that actions outside of those listed on the Draft Action Plan were being taken, and it is/was important to reflect that work as well. We also wanted to ensure that we are working as a campus collectively, utilizing a strategic and comprehensive approach. 

In Summer of 2016, we engaged in a mapping process to develop a snapshot of all that is occurring on campus related to diversity and inclusion. The diversity mapping process provided a more accurate and substantial picture of programs, services, polices, and procedures addressing diversity and inclusion. These documents will be added to as additional efforts occur. 

Related Content

Inclusive Excellence Council


BEACoN Mentors

Faculty-Student Mentorship Program

BEACoN Mentors

Diversity & Inclusion Enrichment Grant

D & I Enrichment Grant

Undocumented Student Working Group