A group of black student protesters at Emory University in Atlanta issued a hysterical list of strident “demands” — their word — to the university administration, and demanded that they respond by December 4, or else. You know the drill: race radicals say “jump,” university administrators say “how high?” I have posted the students’ entire list of demands below, as well as the university’s full response. Both are extraordinary documents that deserve full reading. The students’ demands are mostly a wish list written by spoiled brats, and the university’s response is a capitulation to them.

I want to focus on one aspect, though, because it is so chilling. The Emory student who sent it to me said:

I’m sure some of your readers are fed up with the SJW stuff but this is INSANE and I am starting to seriously freak the f*** out. Like seriously. Read demand #4 (there’s a link to the google doc, I can email it to you separately if you can’t access it for some reason). I mean the whole thing is insane but they want thoughtcrime tribunals every semester.

What is Demand #4? This:

4. We demand that the faculty evaluations that each student is required to complete for each of their professors include at least two open-ended questions such as: “Has this professor made any microaggressions towards you on account of your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, and/or other identity?” and “Do you think that this professor fits into the vision of Emory University being a community of care for individuals of all racial, gender, ability, and class identities?” These questions on the faculty evaluations would help to ensure that there are repercussions or sanctions for racist actions performed by professors.

We demand that these questions be added to the faculty evaluations by the end of this semester, Fall 2015.

So, how did the university respond to this outrageous request to put faculty on trial for ideological impurity? Like this:

Demand 4:  Faculty Evaluations

 Emory University, like most universities with multiple undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools, does not have a unified course evaluation form. The course evaluation information is used for the annual evaluation of each faculty member as well as included in the dossier for each faculty member considered for tenure and/or promotion. Modifications to the course evaluation form are a core component of faculty governance in each school/college.

Each academic Dean will be asked to establish a process in the school/college to review and revise current course evaluations (e.g., add the recommended open-ended questions) [Emphasis mine — RD] as well as make other revisions identified as part of the review. Next, these revised course evaluations will be shared through existing mechanisms such as the Council of Deans, the University Senate, and the ongoing assessments on student learning.

As the 2015 fall semester is coming to an end, this work will begin in the 2016 spring semester with the intent to use the revised course evaluation from the spring and to consider the outcomes in the 2015-2016 annual faculty evaluations. The Office of Planning and Budgeting will collect information on the faculty annual evaluations as part of the annual reporting requirement for each school, specifically the nature and number of negative actions regarding faculty members.

In other words, the faculty of Emory University will now be held hostage by the judgments of these arrogant radicalized students. By surrendering to this threat, Emory declares itself a place that is too risky for any but the most ideologically rigid professors to teach, and therefore a place where students of all races who want to get a rigorous education must avoid. If a professor assigns a text that a black student (or fellow traveler) finds to be microaggressive, that professor will be written up for it, and that evaluation will affect their job. So much for academic freedom.

This is actually happening at an American university, without a shot being fired. How on earth are the faculty standing for this? How are the students doing so? The black students who make these demands at universities are without question the enemies of free thought, of intellection, of university education — but they have no power that has not been granted to them by craven university administrators — who are the real enemy.

Full text of documents below…

I. DEMANDS OF BLACK STUDENTS AT EMORY.

Preamble:
We, the Black Students of Emory University, demand an active change in University policy directed towards Black students.
Emory, a school that claims to pursue a community of care, does very little to demonstrate its commitment. Despite initiatives set in place to re-adjust the racial climate at Emory, we are dissatisfied with the lack of change that has resulted.
We, the Black Students of Emory, are still reeling at injustices made by the University and the lack of adequate action.
When the departments were sanctioned to close during the Fall of 2012, and were completely phased out after Spring 2016, the response from students and faculty alike were given little attention and made to seem as if there was miscommunication as opposed to the administration’s insufficient transparency.

The departments slated to close contained higher numbers of black faculty members. The methods for selection were unclear, leading a large portion of the community in protest of the closings to believe that the departments selected were chosen as a way of decreasing the numbers not only of black faculty, but potential black applicants to Emory University.

The University’s slightness towards the negative response to President James Wagner’s three-fifths compromise statement was another slap in the face to the Black community at Emory University. For the president of a University, built already on the backs of slaves, to praise a piece of legislature infamous for its “legal” establishment of the degradation of the humanity of blacks as three-fifths of a person as a metaphor for the already unpopular and seemingly unfair department closings, was unacceptable. The apologies given by President James Wagner and the other administrators on the Board were ingenuine [sic] and needlessly defensive. Our reactions to University are taken with a grain of salt, and are consistently ignored, belittled, or addressed as dramatic outbursts rather
than legitimate concerns.
After seeing the University’s quick response to the swastika painted on the Alpha Epsilon Pi House during the Spring 2016 semester, though the black community stood in solidarity with such an unacceptably insensitive act, we reflected on the difference in priority given to a traditionally Jewish fraternity’s sense of injustice. We ask that Emory University address its gross negligence.

Besides the larger indignances [sic] of Emory University to Black Students, during the daily life of Black Students, we experience micro- and macro-aggressions. Social media, namely Yik Yak, has become a hub for attacking students of color, but especially black students, primarily following any of our attempts to educate the general population of our struggles and attempts to foster solidarity with our community. We, Black Students of Emory University, do not wish to wait until the situation escalates to death threats for administrative intervention, and instead call for Emory University’s administration to be proactive in the interactions between students, concerning race that could be harmful not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. We call for the University to understand and then appropriately address the mental stress incurred by Black Students at this institution on a daily basis.

The following document lists the demands of black students at Emory University. This document reflects the adjustments we believe should be made to the University in both policy and practice.
The first draft of these demands were announced during a protest intended to stand in solidarity with Yale University, the University of Missouri (Mizzou), and all other schools that are openly expressing their experience of racial trauma. We want to build off of the momentum and energy circulating from protests at educational institutions like ours and unify the movement as a method of understanding this common state of unrest. These demands have been created, reviewed, and updated by Emory University students in an effort to establish a foundation for conversations with administration who reached out to us hours after the protest.
The demands are in no specific order. We expect a response with an action plan from administration, faculty and SGA and College Council to these demands by
December 4, 2015.

If we do not receive a response, and our demands are not met, we will take appropriate nonviolent actions which will escalate until our demands are met. A response does not involve being redirected to various individuals who could meet our needs, but instead means that immediate action is taken on the part of the individuals who can incite change in the administration. We will not hesitate to contact media to publicize our movement and our demands, and bring to light the treatment of students, faculty, and staff
of color at the Emory University.

Signed,
The Black Students of Emory

1. Emory University must recognize traumatic events that Black students
experience on campus via the campus-wide emails sent to Emory University affiliates with emory.edu email addresses. These events shall be reported to the Bias Incident report. We demand that the administration of Emory University make the broad contexts and situations reported to the bias incident report known to the entire Emory community via campus-wide emails in order to increase awareness to every community within Emory University about racism, sexism, ableism, classism, and other forms of injustice. In order to create a community of care the entire Emory University community (including all school divisions, faculty, staff, and students) must know the community’s ills and collectively work together to combat them towards justice for all.

2. The Bias Incident Reporting that Emory University has not been efficient
because they have not thoroughly tended to the concerns of those who have used the reporting system. The microaggressions and macroaggressions that Black students experience which lead to our trauma should not be regarded for the sole purpose of data collection but should be taken seriously and met with the highest level of urgency and care.

In order to demonstrate this urgency and care, we demand that the Bias Response Team email a personalized email to the reporter (the person who used the Bias Incident Reporting) within 1-2 days of a Bias Incident Report receipt. Also, we demand that the Bias Response Team send a personalized response (that includes action steps to take for self-care and details on how to properly sanction the offender to the reporter by the University administration) within one week of the Bias Incident Report receipt.

3. Due to the systematic oppression faced by Black students throughout the
world via colorism, racism, classism, mass incarceration, police brutality and all other injustices we need psychological services that cater to our unique psychological needs. Emory University prides itself on being responsive to the whole Emory University student (spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally), therefore, in order to include the Black student, we demand for the Emory University Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to provide unique and alternative methods of counseling for Black students if they prefer to receive them. CAPS does not take into consideration that our psychic health is compromised due to systemic oppression (social, racial, economic, gender, etc). These alternative counseling methods include: Black spirituality methods, Black counselors, and counselors of color.

4. We demand that the faculty evaluations that each student is required to complete for each of their professors include at least two open-ended questions such as: “Has this professor made any microaggressions towards you on account of your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, and/or other identity?” and “Do you think that this professor fits into the vision of Emory University being a community of care for individuals of all racial, gender, ability, and class identities?” These questions on the faculty evaluations would help to ensure that there are repercussions or sanctions for racist actions performed by professors.

We demand that these questions be added to the faculty evaluations by the end of this semester, Fall 2015.

5. Due to the historic and current systematic socioeconomic oppression of Black persons in America, we demand that Emory University institutionalize an academic support system for Black students. The history of limited educational attainment for Black students in America leads to the conclusion that not all Black students are adequately prepared for the rigor of Emory University. This ill preparation is not due to lower intelligence than their other racial counterparts, however; it is due to the limited resources (e.g. inability to afford private tutors, having to use outdated textbooks in their public schools, etc.) that most Black students have had to use when attaining their primary and secondary education.
Therefore, we demand an institutionalized academic support hub for Black students to have access to and to receive tutoring, specialized study skills,
and career mentoring. Emory University has not created a program in place to aid Black students who are unprepared for the academic rigor of Emory’s preprofessional academic track. In regards to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, The Center for Science Education along with the Hughes Undergraduate Excelling in Science (HUES) program will be shut down in December. The Multicultural Outreach and Resources at Emory (MORE) program has a limit on how many students can participate to receive the academic support and social mentorship of its program due to lack of funding allocated to OMPS. Therefore, we demand increased funding for the MORE program for Fall of 2016.

6. The Campus Life Compact which, yet again, came out of frustration with
lack of response by administration to racialized experiences on campus and President Wagner’s compromise comment asked for a program that “engage[d] the campus community in training, discussion, education, and promotion of the challenges faced by students of color on campus.” One such diversity initiative that was implemented as a result of the Compact, Creating Emory, which has been ineffective in its execution of these pre-agreed goals.

As a result, we demand that Black students and students/staff/faculty of color should be consulted when making any university-wide diversity initiatives. These diversity initiatives, including Social justice Week by College Council and the like, have been surface level and even when the input of students of color is requested, their suggestions are still marginalized. Diversity initiatives should not be made from the standpoint of the dominant group (white men and women) or to ensure the comfort of the predominantly white student population at Emory. We demand that the purpose of these initiatives should be to ensure the comfort of the black students population at Emory and to enlighten white students about systematic oppression.

7. Black staff, faculty, and administrators who advise Black organizations should receive an increase in their financial compensation or salaries. Changes should be made to the hierarchical structure of Campus Life which puts primarily white males at the top of the structure which lead to their increased compensation and salaries.

Also, we demand an increase of Black staff, faculty, and administrators to be in higher positions of power so that they can implement the changes that black students wish to see in the university. We align ourselves with the letter/petition addressed to the Advisory Committee of The Board of Trustees and the Presidential Selection Committee signed by many members of the Emory University communities of color. The people who are currently in positions of power have done minimal or no work for Black students, therefore they are not thoroughly knowledgeable about how to implement diversity initiatives that help Black students. Black/POC administrators and staff are overworked and underpaid, but they are the most influential on campus.

The staff needs to be paid more for the work and time that they spend ensuring that the Black community has what it needs in the areas of administration, food, maintenance and custodial services, etc.

8. Black administrators are told to stand by racist and problematic faculty in order to preserve the positive image of the University to media and investors. However, the fact that these threats are made point to the job insecurity that Black faculty and administrators face at Emory University.

We demand job security for Black faculty and administrators when they are earnestly working on behalf of Black students.

9. Black student organizations are underfunded and over-policed. Forcing
black organizations to collaborate with predominantly White organizations that are interested in surface level interactions and superficial celebrations of diversity is violent to the Black community at Emory University. Black student organizations are often told that their events are exclusive. These claims are unfounded because events are created specifically for Black students because they do not exist anywhere else on campus. Therefore, Black student organizations need more funding in order to help accomplish Emory University’s mission to create a “community of care”. Also, throughout Black organizations have been severely policed which has led to their expulsion from Emory University’s campus for reasons that most organizations on campus are guilty of.
We demand that there is a fair trial with a jury consisting of faculty, staff, and administrators of color, for each Black organization that may be suspended or expelled from campus.

We also demand that there be a press release given to the entire Emory community (affiliates with emory.edu email addresses) after a Black organization is suspended or expelled from Emory University.

10. Currently, Emory 6.8% of faculty at Emory are black. Most faculty of
color are comprised of African American studies professors and lecturer/adjunct professors.The African American studies department has been a great resource to Black students, however, they too can be overextended with their various appointments in other departments.
Other faculty of color are adjunct professors/lecturers, who do not have job security and are not valued in their positions in their departments. Thus, we need black professors in all disciplines, traditional and nontraditional.
We demand that there be an increase in the amount of black and Latino full time, tenure-track professors to 10% by the year 2017 in other departments/disciplines besides the African American Studies department. We also demand that better records are kept of faculty and staff of color demographics and are easily accessible by the student body.
These statistics of professor’s ethnicity are important for increasing accountability.

We also demand that Black professors when in non-traditional or traditional disciplines must not be abused by the overwhelmingly white academy. Professors, too, need protection for the violent, racist and sexist incidents that they endure from their white colleagues in their departments.

11. Acknowledging foremost that all kinds of speech are not protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” Emory University shall not protect the privilege of students to vocalize hate speech. The social app Yik Yak has been utilized on Emory’s campus to post messages similar in sentiment to the following posts: “So Black people can complain about their fucking microaggressions and whatever but if I as a white person feel unsafe or uncomfortable for any reason, I’m ignorant. Fuck that”, “I’m about to jack off to ebony porn to help race relations”, and “Let’s be real. Black lives matter is a sham. It’s not because you’re black. It’s because you’re selling crack and ran from a police officer.”

This is hate speech, which is defined by the American Bar Association as “speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits.” Whereas, this fits the description of the aforementioned posts as it did to the Swastika painted on the fraternity house of Alpha Epsilon Pi (which was swiftly removed by the authorities), it is illogical for Emory to remain impartial in the matter at hand. On October 11th 2015, Emily Sacamoto was arrested on Emory’s Oxford campus for posting “I’m shooting up the school. Tomorrow. Stay in your rooms. The ones on the quad are the ones who will go first.” Though the federal Stored Communications Act (18 U.S.C. § 2701) prevents Yik Yak from disclosing the account information of a user without an official request from law enforcement, it is impermissible to allow racist students to terrorize Black people on any form of media and the anonymity that Yik Yak provides is a breeding ground for behavior of that sort. Hence, we demand that Emory University Information Technology Services formally request that Yik Yak, Inc. install a geofence covering the zip code 30322 in order to protect our students from subjection to intolerable and psychologically detrimental material.

12. We demand that there be a student led GED program or opening Emory classes to black workers at Emory (DUC, Cliff, Maintenance). We would like for workers to take classes at Emory but understand that they have limited break time and other restrictions due to their demanding, undercompensated and under-rewarded labor. We, from our own observations, do not like the mistreatment and exploitation of DUC/Cox workers, who are also forced to endure extreme
discomfort. We demand that there is better treatment of the DUC/Cox workers and more comfortable conditions for them to work under.

13. Emory University does not currently have a General Education Requirement
that focuses specifically on the histories and experiences of people of color. The Campus Life Compact for Building an Inclusive Community at Emory (written Fall of 2012) states that the Office of the Provost and academic Deans will: 1) Consider creating a Global Citizenship & Diversity General Education Requirement and 2) Expand the range and quantity of course offerings specifically related to race relations, racism, ethnicity, etc.; encourage departments to make hires with these areas in mind whenever possible.

This has not happened. Simply put, we demand that Emory University follow through on this recommendation and create a General Education Requirement for courses that explore issues significantly affecting people of color, and this course should be implemented in the fall of 2016.

II. EMORY UNIVERSITY’S OFFICIAL RESPONSE

Dear Emory Community:

We thank our Black student leaders for advancing planning and action to address the serious concerns presented in their student demands document. They are initiating the kind of dialogue that is essential to cultivating a more socially just campus community. We firmly support their commitment to progress and look forward to meeting with them to fully address their community concerns.

This letter is written in the spirit of providing an immediate response to very complex and important matters. We acknowledge that there is much work to be done. A number of the issues raised and the associated work will require meetings and further discussions for understanding, agreement, and action plans. These dialogues are being planned in an expedited way and began with a meeting on December 2 during which student leaders and members of our administration developed an agenda to address concerns articulated in the demands with relevant Academic Affairs and Campus Life administrators at a retreat scheduled for January 22. Some immediate responses in the areas listed below serve as a foundation for the planning discussions going forward.

We wish to emphasize three points at the start. First, some concerns and responses below overlap and some may apply to more than one area of concern. Second, none of our responses below are intended to be final. Third, academic policy is determined by faculty governance structures within each of our nine schools. As mentioned above, we look forward to further examining with Black student leadership how we can work together to address the concerns outlined in their demands. As previously mentioned, although many of the demands will be addressed during a retreat scheduled on January 22, several of the systemic issues articulated in the demands will be addressed through mutually agreed upon and/or existing structures.

Demands 1 and 2: Bias Incident Reporting

The Bias Incident Reporting program is a relatively new system that was initiated in fall 2013 to provide a platform to share our community values and expectations, establish a reporting structure for students to document bias incidents, and form a team of staff members trained to respond to bias incidents.

We will review with our Black student leaders the challenges and successes of this system and implement changes to better support the needs of the community. Their input and that of other students is essential.

Demand 3: Counseling and Psychological Services

The demands raise the issue of resources available to Black students through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Recognizing that mental health is an important part of student success, last spring we created a new executive-level position to lead the CAPS office. This senior staff member represents mental health concerns on Emory Campus Life’s Executive Leadership Team and participates directly in Emory Campus Life strategic policy formation.

The CAPS staff is fully committed to examining how we can best address the concerns expressed regarding support for Black students. Currently, half of the CAPS staff are people of color and 43 percent of the clients served last year were students of color, including 13 percent who identified as Black or African American. We are committed to broadening our approaches for engaging with students, providing a safe space for Black students, and creating partnerships to connect with students from marginalized groups who may feel hesitant to come to CAPS.

Demand 4:  Faculty Evaluations

 Emory University, like most universities with multiple undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools, does not have a unified course evaluation form. The course evaluation information is used for the annual evaluation of each faculty member as well as included in the dossier for each faculty member considered for tenure and/or promotion. Modifications to the course evaluation form are a core component of faculty governance in each school/college.

Each academic Dean will be asked to establish a process in the school/college to review and revise current course evaluations (e.g., add the recommended open-ended questions), as well as make other revisions identified as part of the review. Next, these revised course evaluations will be shared through existing mechanisms such as the Council of Deans, the University Senate, and the ongoing assessments on student learning.

As the 2015 fall semester is coming to an end, this work will begin in the 2016 spring semester with the intent to use the revised course evaluation from the spring and to consider the outcomes in the 2015-2016 annual faculty evaluations. The Office of Planning and Budgeting will collect information on the faculty annual evaluations as part of the annual reporting requirement for each school, specifically the nature and number of negative actions regarding faculty members.

 Demand 5: Academic Support

Enhancing academic support will require ongoing collaboration between Campus Life and the schools/colleges. We look forward to working with Black and other student leadership to generate ideas on how to expand and strengthen existing programs, several of which are described below, as well as identify new programmatic opportunities.

Academic advising and mentoring are essential to the success of all our students, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Despite significant advances in academic support, there is a need for further investments to ensure that students from historically marginalized groups, including Black students, receive the kind and level of support that will yield success at Emory and beyond.

Similar to the structure for revising course evaluations, each academic Dean will be asked to establish a structure in the school/college to review student academic support via engagement of students, faculty, and staff and grounded in the school/college governance structure. The Deans will be expected to work with their respective constituency groups to implement improvements in a timely matter and to provide a progress report, including evaluations as appropriate, as part of the annual reporting structure.  Council of Deans meetings will allow for sharing and comparisons across schools/colleges.

Over the past 25 years, the Emory Campus Life Career Center has co-sponsored “Reality Is… ” This networking event, specifically for Black students, is provided in collaboration with the Caucus of Emory Black Alumni (CEBA) and the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services (OMPS). The Career Center has also conducted workshops for the OMPS Multicultural Outreach and Resources at Emory (MORE) program the last two years. We look forward to exploring with Black student leaders the expansion of career support initiatives for Black students at Emory.

One of Campus Life’s organizational restructuring efforts this year that speaks to concerns expressed in the student demands is our creation of the new Office of Student Success Programs and Services. This initiative includes the 1915 Scholars Program, Emory Advantage, and The Gates Millennium Scholars Program, which collectively assist students with meeting academic, social, and financial challenges. This organizational change was created to increase program synergy, effectiveness, and efficiency by bringing several related initiatives under the same umbrella.

The Office of Student Success also encompasses the Student Intervention Services (SIS) Team working closely with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Student Health Services (SHS)– which houses psychiatry and other campus offices – to create additional synergy among services as we work together to support students and help them achieve success. Because Student Success is a new department, it is especially important that we establish a student advisory board to determine future programming, especially as it relates to supporting Black students at Emory, and we welcome the participation of Black student leaders.

We also recognize the importance of mentoring programs that involve peer and staff/faculty/alumni initiatives. The Office of Multicultural Programs and Services (OMPS) currently facilitates several programs designed to provide mentoring and support for Black students. These programs – Men of Distinction at Emory (MODE), Multicultural Outreach and Resources at Emory (MORE), and Building Leaders and Cultivating Knowledge (BLACK) – support meaningful relationships and promote student success. However, we recognize that we have work to do to make our community even more supportive of Black students’ academic and social success. We look forward to working with Black student leadership and other student leaders to strategize next steps for programmatic support for our mentoring programs. We are committed to expanding programs and services to meet the needs of the community.

Demand 6: Planning Diversity Initiatives

Black students and other students representing historically marginalized groups will be invited to participate in the planning process for Creating Emory and other Campus Life diversity training and initiatives. In addition, the Office of Equity and Inclusion will work with Campus Life to identify committees that currently do not have student representation.

We will also work with the Advisory Council on Community and Diversity (ACCD) to ensure that each Division is committed to inclusion as demonstrated in the annual reports to the ACCD. Conversations already are underway to expand reporting of the ACCD beyond the university administration to the University Senate, the governance body of the full university, representing students, faculty, and staff.

Demands 7, 8, and 10: Increase in Black Staff, Faculty, and Administrators 

Each year, the university’s Office of Equity and Inclusion prepares and maintains an Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) in accordance with federal regulations. The process of maintaining this plan allows us the opportunity to identify areas for growth and change. Annually, the plans are shared with key stakeholders at the university and monitored for improvements. Emory’s Affirmative Action Plan is more than a shelf document. Implementation of this plan serves as guiding principles for the community. This plan allows us to: 1) implement educational programs aimed at increasing diversity in our workplace; 2) conduct federally mandated workforce analyses; 3) develop affirmative action programs and best practices; 4) document best effort; 5) guide the work we do to engage self-analyses for the purpose of discovering barriers to equal employment opportunities; and 6) monitor our progress over extended periods of time.

As part of the school/college annual reporting, as well as of Emory’s Affirmative Action plan, we conduct an annual evaluation of the composition of our faculty. This includes benchmarking for underrepresented faculty, including Black faculty, based on national trends and the pipeline. The analyses include a comparison between the current and expected faculty composition by type of appointment and rank. When a school/college is below the targeting representation, the Dean of that unit is charged to rectify the situation. In addition, the review compares the faculty composition to the Emory goals for each school/college, and this is where we must continue to make progress, as the proposed goals are not being met in all schools/colleges or across disciplines.

Two years ago, the Office of the Provost created a Faculty Diversity Fund to assist the deans to achieve faculty diversity goals as defined by discipline/area of focus with the understanding that progress is measured both in numbers and most importantly an improved culture for faculty diversity. The latter includes recognition of contributions to committee work and other institution-building activities.

Faculty recruitment and retention are a priority for all of academic affairs at Emory. Part of the January retreat will focus on developing a shared understanding of how dedicated recruitment and retention currently occur, how recruitment and retention can be enhanced, and how these actions will yield increased diversity.

To improve faculty retention and with an emphasis on faculty diversity, the Office of Equity and Inclusion within the Office of the Provost established, in partnership with one of the Senior Advisors to the Provost and a Faculty Advisory Committee, the Best Practices for Faculty Recruitment. Work is underway to establish Best Practices for Faculty Retention, also with an emphasis on faculty diversity.  Workshops on unconscious bias for faculty searches were initiated in fall 2015, and training to expand the number of faculty who can provide these workshops is underway.

 Although Emory Campus Life is a diverse organization, we are not satisfied with our current levels of staff diversity, professional development opportunities, and recruitment and retention strategies – all of which we are committed to improving.

Campus Life recently appointed a Senior Director/Senior Associate Dean of Learning and Innovation, who provides leadership, management, and direction to nurture professional development of Campus Life staff. Along with the Campus Life Human Resources Manager, the two departments lead learning and development efforts in a range of programs, including our ongoing commitment to recruitment at every level that supports a staff representing the broad diversity of our campus community. In partnership with Emory Human Resources, we will conduct a new comprehensive review of Campus Life staff compensation and recruitment and retention strategies for staff of color and other historically marginalized groups.

 The Class and Labor Committee provided 62 recommendations on staff, and these have been addressed through an implementation committee that was part of the University Senate. The report on faculty from the Class and Labor Committee has been delayed but is expected to be ready in early 2016. Once received, recommendations also will be shared with the University Senate and other key constituency groups. The expectation is to establish a University Senate standing committee for implementation regarding Class and Labor recommendations for staff and faculty.

Demand 9: Trials for Black Organizations

Campus Life’s Office of Student Conduct has two recent appointees as Director and Assistant Director. In collaboration with students, the staff members in the Office of Student Conduct will review our policies and protocols and develop recommendations to further enhance the entire system.

Demand 11: Geofence for Yik Yak

 Through a partnership between Information Technology Services and the University Senate, a task force will be created to examine the feasibility of a geofence covering the zip codes for Emory University, including Oxford College.

Demand 12: Establishment of GED Program  

Emory Human Resources will recommend strategies to enhance the working conditions of DUC/Cox workers and explore the possibility of establishing GED course offerings for staff members.

Demand 13: General Education Requirement Addressing Issues Affecting People of Color

The General Education Requirement is offered in Emory College of Arts and Sciences and Oxford College. This demand will be further discussed at the upcoming retreat with the appropriate faculty governance representatives.

Conclusion

This document describes current areas of engagement that already address to some extent the concerns expressed in the Black student demands, as well as several initiatives scheduled for spring semester. We are committed to participating in a process that explores a full range of efforts now underway, as well as students’ ideas on how we might enhance existing programs and consider possible new initiatives where needed.

It is our hope that, following the January 22 retreat, a comprehensive document will be developed that identifies a timeline, action steps, and accountability measures for each demand.Meanwhile, Emory Campus Life staff members are partnering with student leaders to co-facilitate special programs to help students successfully complete the current semester.

The Wall of Love, which took place November 23, was led by students and supported by the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services (OMPS) as a space for healing in light of racist comments on social media. In addition, a program is scheduled to take place before finals to help students prepare for exams and engage in self-care. For spring semester, the Office of Health Promotion (OHP) is developing a Happiness Boot Camp for Black students as part of Flourish Emory.

We support what we understand to be the overarching goal of the demands document – to ensure that Emory’s Black students, like all our students, receive the support they need and deserve to succeed. Know also that we are committed to working with Black student leaders and our entire community to achieve that goal.

We look forward to further dialogue and collaborative planning on these issues in the very near future.

Sincerely,

Ajay Nair

Senior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life

Claire E. Sterk

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs