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Message from President Daniel H. Weiss to students, faculty, administration, and staff

President Daniel H. Weiss addressed the following message to the College’s students, faculty, administration, and staff today via campus email.

To The Lafayette Community:

As we begin the new academic year, I wanted to take a moment to share with you our commitment to creating and maintaining an inclusive community that values, affirms, and advances the diverse backgrounds, interests, experiences, and aspirations of all its members. We believe that a critical step in creating an inclusive environment is to assess the current campus climate in order to identify important issues, and then create ways for individuals, departments, and the administration to address them.

We are collaborating on a range of projects, including a new campus climate study. Through the support of a presidential grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lafayette will be working with Susan Rankin & Associates, a nationally known firm on assessing the climate in higher education institutions for living, working, and learning. Dr. Rankin’s work on campus will involve conducting fact-finding groups in October followed by a campus-wide assessment in the spring semester.  The fact-finding groups will assist Dr. Rankin and the Lafayette Climate Study Working Group (CSWG) in developing survey questions that fit our unique context at Lafayette.

Among other things, the study aims to find how various groups perceive climate issues and then what steps should be taken to meet the aims of the strategic plan. Completing the survey is your opportunity to describe your own personal experiences and observations, and to offer suggestions for change. The data will be used to identify strategies for improving our campus climate as it relates to creating an inclusive environment. Our senior leadership team has been engaged in, and is fully supportive of this process.

Through the CSWG and a web site, we will keep the campus community informed of our project timeline and progress. We have requested that Dr. Rankin provide the survey findings through a series of town meetings in the fall of 2010.

Thank you in advance for your contributions to this important Lafayette project.

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