Message from the Associate Vice President of Inclusive Excellence
A new academic year is always a time of appreciation and anticipation. First-time students are starting a life-changing experience. Returning students are continuing on the life-changing path they have begun. Those who are not students are here to renew our efforts to support the dream and aspirations of those who have honored us with their selection of CSUMB as the university they wish to attend. This academic year is different and important because we have a new president. We welcome Dr. Vanya Quiñones to our campus as she begins her tenure as the university president.
There is excitement in the air with a new leader on the campus and the opportunities that new leadership can provide. As a community, let us remember that we all have a role to play in helping students succeed and, more broadly, helping us all achieve what we wish to accomplish in our roles at CSUMB. Let us be committed to making this a university that successfully cares for and supports all who study, work, and live here. Let us value and learn from the power of our individual stories and journeys while we continue to grow and develop as a community. Let us emerge from the isolation and fear of the last two and half years with a renewed sense of purpose and appreciation of each other. In that spirit, I wish all of us a great year.
Brian Corpening, PhD
As the Associate Vice President of Inclusive Excellence and member of the CSUMB community, I would like to introduce myself and briefly discuss the role of the Office of Inclusive Excellence in supporting this university's commitment to an inclusive and equitable campus. I have spent my entire career committed to ensuring that access and opportunity were available to all of the students, faculty, and staff present on the campuses where I worked. Equitable access and opportunity are at the core of what colleges and universities can do to leverage the transformative power that they possess in shaping individuals and communities. Leveraging the transformative power of this institution through inclusion and the constant pursuit of excellence is exciting work that I am committed to.
The work that is being done by faculty, staff, and administrators every day to support the goals and aspirations of the students attending this university is inspiring. Even with all of the great work that is being done to create and support an inclusive and equitable campus, there is still a lot of work to be done in ensuring that every person on campus feels a strong sense of belonging and value. My efforts and the efforts of the Office of Inclusive Excellence are focused on helping all of us live, study, and work in an inclusive and equitable community. We will continue to be committed to being a resource, a partner and a provider of training centered on social justice, equity, and inclusion.
The founding vision statement of Monterey Bay articulates a commitment to ensuring that the students who graduate from the university will possess, “the critical thinking abilities to be productive citizens, and the social responsibility and skills to be community builders.” Those are admirable and lofty aims that are predicated on fostering and supporting an environment of interaction and collaboration that is intercultural in its intent and impact. I am honored to be a member of this community as we continue to move forward in creating the community that formed the vision of this university nearly twenty-five years ago.
Brian Corpening, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President of Inclusive Excellence
Chief Diversity Officer
August 26, 2020
Welcome to the new academic year at CSUMB. Yes, the times we are in is troubling. There is so much uncertainty around us for the foreseeable future. Change will be a constant moving forward. In our office, we are committed to ensuring that we continue to provide the service we have always offered to the university. We are pleased to inform you of a significant change that has occurred in the Office of Inclusive Excellence since the end of last semester. The Office of Sustainability has merged with the OIE in what will be the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Sustainability (OIES) moving forward. This organizational change will enhance the visibility and impact of both offices while displaying how equity and inclusion intersects with sustainability. The role of the offices throughout the university will be strengthened through the new structure, and the community will be able to broaden their understanding of how equity and inclusion is strongly connected to sustainability and vice versa.
The virtual modality we are in will mean that our Diversity Learning Series will be conducted via Zoom. The schedule of offerings is in this newsletter. Our office will also be sponsoring a university dialogue focused on addressing our ability to dialogue across our differences. The planned dialogue will focus on utilizing Ibram Kendi’s How to Be an Anti-Racist as the focal point of the dialogue. We will unveil more on this initiative during this semester.
Our office is also leading the university’s effort in implementing anti-bias training. Utilizing the UC/CSU sponsored training, the intention is to provide this training throughout the campus using members of our university community as trainers. These efforts are part of our focus on implementing priority #2 of the University’s Strategic Plan, which is centered on Inclusive Excellence. I encourage you to review the strategic plan on the university’s website. All of us have a role in ensuring the success of the plan.
While the times we are in are uncertain and full of change, the times are also full of opportunity. Opportunity for us to connect in ways that account for our differences and what we have in common. Understanding different perspectives and ways of seeing the world enriches us all even when we may disagree. I encourage all of us to take advantage of the numerous opportunities to understand different perspectives and cultures that will be available to us this semester through the programs and activities sponsored throughout the university.
Please stay healthy and safe, and thank you for your commitment to our university.