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University of Kentucky unveils diversity action plan

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Posted at 9:22 AM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 10:22:20-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — As the University of Kentucky prepares to welcome back students in the fall, officials are also preparing to phase in an action plan to address diversity and inclusion needs across campus.

"At the University of Kentucky, we truly value not only diversity but equity and inclusion. Making sure that all members of our campus community feels a sense of belonging and engagement," said Vice-President for Institutional Diversity Sonja Feist-Price.

That's why the university plans to take a closer look at what needs to be addressed to ensure that's the case across campus.

"If there are ways in which we need to better enhance our campus community, to assist minoritized identities," said Feist-Price. "Our students and faculty and staff that sometimes feel as though they're on the margins, but instead [we want them to] feel like they are central to our campus community."

Some of the plan's elements include required cultural proficiency training for faculty and diversity training for students before the start of classes, developing diversity and inclusion officers within each college, and expanding diversity and inclusivity funds for faculty and staff recruitment and retention.

This action plan comes when people across the country are fighting against racial and social injustice, but the efforts to create an inclusive campus are nothing new.

"We're not new to this game. We've been doing this work a very long time, and we have been recognized nationally for the work that we're doing," said Feist-Price. "Our diversity plan reflects our bold vision that continues some of the work we've been doing. We're wanting to package it differently and be more intentional in our efforts."

Feist-Price says these goals are phase one of the plan, which they hope to begin implementing in July and develop through the fall semester.