The road is walked together…

As the mission statement indicates, “Metropolitan State University is a comprehensive urban university committed to meeting the higher education needs of the Twin Cities and greater metropolitan population…with continued emphasis on underserved groups, including adults and communities of color. This mission presents a strong impetus to the university to thrive in its service to a vastly growing number of recent immigrant groups and groups of color who are projected as the communities that will produce the largest group of prospective students in higher education in the state. Recognizing the demographic reality and trends in the global economy, the university has made efforts to identify and carry out best practices to serve the population.

During 2017, the Equity and Inclusion Council, a university-wide committee has developed strategic plans to implement equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the university by establishing priority goals and work plans to connect campus climate, institutional values, policies and procedures, recruitment and retention of employees of color, indigenous and diverse employees with student success. In collaboration with E&I Council’s effort, Equity, and Diversity Committee of the Faculty Association led an initiative to identify factors contributing to a welcoming and respectful workplace for faculty of color, indigenous and diverse faculty. This effort resulted in a recommendation that the university creates structural support for faculty of color and indigenous faculty. The recommendation represents the group’s conviction that a process of institutionalizing equity and inclusion that is consistent with the mission of the university and its strategic way of fulfilling its mission includes a purposeful effort to recruit and retain faculty of color and indigenous faculty. Their needs be a strategic plan to develop this group of faculty to successfully attain tenure and promotion and to assist them in furthering the advancement of their careers.

Beginning Fall 2018, the Faculty of Color Mentorship Program (FOCMP) was established under the Office of Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. This mentorship program is the first among seven state universities in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.