Loyola University Maryland

Equity and Inclusion at Loyola

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan

seven different hands joining together

Adopted October 2020

Loyola University Maryland values diversity. As a Catholic, Jesuit university, the institution is committed to creating a community that recognizes the inherent value and dignity of each person. Loyola actively promotes an awareness of and sensitivity toward differences of race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, and abilities among students, faculty, administrators, and staff.

The Catholic, Jesuit educational tradition seeks to celebrate differences, while at the same time highlighting fundamental human qualities that are shared across diverse cultures.  Indeed, Loyola sees diversity as an inherent source of richness and a necessary opportunity for learning, growth, and academic excellence. In this, Loyola accepts the contemporary challenge of the Catholic Church that universities must become more attentive to the cultures of the world of today, and to the various cultural traditions existing within the Church in a way that will promote a continuous and meaningful dialogue between the Gospel and society.

Loyola seeks to encourage its constituents to respect and welcome the inherent value and dignity of each person as a gifted contributor to the community as a whole. The University is committed to challenging and repudiating prejudice and bias in all its forms, and to encouraging global and international awareness, both within and outside its curricula.

These guiding principles and deep commitment undergird the University’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and the 2020-2023 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan outlined in this webpage.

Message from the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer Approach to the Work

Office of Equity and Inclusion

The Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) works to meet the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with an integrative model of leadership. The model draws its strength from partnerships and collaborations with every division of the University. The work of diversity, equity, and inclusion does not sit in a single office at Loyola but extends across the entire campus realizing the benefit of varied skill sets and areas of expertise, multiple perspectives, focused approaches, and shared accountability. The engagement and leadership of senior executive staff has been and will continue to be essential to support and advance the OEI, as well as its mission and work.

The work of the Office proceeds based on principles of human growth and development, learning theory, and cultural identity development theory. These research bases provide theoretical frameworks and research-informed approaches for understanding and facilitating evolving levels of self-awareness; appreciation; knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion matters; and skill development.

The OEI is guided by the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer (CEIO) who partners with the President’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion and student diversity, equity, and inclusion boards to provide strategic visioning for the campus, monitor strategic plan progress, and oversee major campus-wide initiatives and programs. Each President’s Council member is appointed to a two-year, renewable term. Through an application process, students at the graduate and undergraduate levels seek one-year membership on the student diversity boards.

Office of Equity and Inclusion Vision Statement

The vision for the OEI is to provide leadership, education, consultation, and assistance to the campus to embrace equity and inclusion as a pillar of excellence.

In collaboration with other university offices, divisions, strategic plans, and staff, the OEI supports an institutional climate of Ignatian Citizenship by balancing opportunities for individual enrichment and reflection on how one’s social identities influence choice and responsibilities and collaborative work for justice.

The Office fosters companions who think of themselves as part of something bigger and promote equity and inclusion as the goal of an intentionally inclusive society.

Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer

Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., NCC, the inaugural Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer (CEIO) and professor of counselor education, brings an understanding of cultural identity development, learning theory, and educational leadership to the office. Her long-standing tenure at Loyola is key to her ability to facilitate the partnerships and connections necessary for an integrative model of operation. Dr. Moore-Thomas was appointed CEIO Jan. 1, 2020.

Dr. Moore-Thomas reports to the University President, Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J. She is also guided by the University’s Board of Trustee committee on Equity and Inclusion. The committee is chaired by Anthea Butler, Ph.D., member of the University’s Board of Trustees, who by virtue of her role as committee chair serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the University’s Board of Trustees.


Goal I: Education, Professional Development, and Assessment

Person holding looking at a book in front of a backdrop of social justice-related wordsDevelop an education, professional development, and assessment framework through which systemic change may occur and lead toward equitable and inclusive excellence across the University.

In order to develop the education, professional development, and assessment framework that leads to systemic change and equitable, inclusive excellence across the institution, Loyola University Maryland will complete the following four initiatives by May 31, 2023.

1.A. Shared DEI principles

Create a set of shared principles about DEI to use across the University.

decorative graphic showing progress Years 1-3

Key Leaders:

CEIO, President’s Council

1.B. Equity audits

Engage in targeted equity audits in each university division.

decorative graphic showing progress Years 1-3

Key Leaders:

CEIO, President’s Council, VPs, Area Designees

1.C. Assessment plan

Create a cohesive assessment plan that measures DEI growth.

decorative graphic showing progress Years 1-3

Key Leaders:

CEIO, President’s Council

1.D. Professional Development

Create a professional development plan that calls the University to action to advance DEI.

decorative graphic showing progress Years 1-3

Key Leaders:

CEIO, President’s Council, Student Leaders
Rationale & Impact

Over the next three years, the President’s Council, under leadership of the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer (CEIO), will build a framework through which the University will define, take action toward, and be able to assess its goals for equitable and inclusive excellence. By pursuing the four initiatives listed above, the CEIO and President’s Council will create a framework that provides the University shared principles for matters of equity and inclusion, contributes to the capacity for colleagues to engage their daily operations with an ever-present lens of equity and inclusion, and provides the University with a plan for assessing its progress toward goals of equity and inclusion. Goal I of the Strategic Plan seeks to unite the University community as it works toward a more collaborative, data-informed future that yields increased equity and inclusion.

Summary of Major Actions

As a first step in achieving Goal I, the University needs to determine its guiding principles for DEI at Loyola. A set of principles, shared across the University, can inform the policies we make, the protocols we follow, and the language we use. Principles create a framework for our university community to approach decisions and operations with consistent focus on equity and inclusion, allow us to define what equitable and inclusive excellence could mean at Loyola University Maryland, and increase our effectiveness in promoting change, both in our shared intentions and in our shared accountability to one another. To this end, the CEIO and the Council will draft, and refine with contributions from the Loyola community, principles for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Loyola University Maryland.

Concurrently, the President’s Council and its working groups will engage in targeted equity audits that identify specific inequities in programs, departments, and divisions, and then identify and act upon methods to address the inequities we discover. While equity audits take a look at the “nuts and bolts” of a specific area and allow us to evaluate whether systems in place promote equity and inclusivity, assessment plans evaluate the larger question of impact. How will we know that the University’s actions and investments have the intended effect? What does “equitable and inclusive excellence” mean, and how will we know when we are achieving our goals toward equitable, inclusive excellence? We will scan the University for measures we use currently for DEI work, gather and review these measures, and determine what additional measures we need. Ultimately, we will create a cohesive assessment plan that measures DEI growth, relative to the goals of this strategic plan. Pursuing improved assessment and targeted equity audits will allow us to identify the professional development needs for the promotion of equitable, inclusive excellence at Loyola. Ideally, the opportunities for professional development will meet individual faculty, staff, and administrators where they are in their own journeys of DEI development.

Measurable Outcomes

At the conclusion of three years, Loyola will have

  • begun to use shared DEI principles that promote a clear understanding of the University’s goals for equitable, inclusive excellence among all student leaders, staff leaders, faculty leaders, and administrators, as evidenced by policies, practices, and accountability across the University;
  • provided one training and professional development experience on equity and inclusion process and language implications for members of the President’s Cabinet;
  • provided one beginning, one intermediate, and one advanced professional development opportunity for staff, administrators, and faculty that explores individual identity development, gives shape to systematic change throughout the organizational structure of the University, and results in increased equity and inclusion on campus;
  • conducted targeted equity audits, through a partnership with the vice presidents, in every division and will have begun to use the findings to address patterns of inequity; and
  • created a comprehensive assessment plan that defines equitable and inclusive excellence goals of the institution, identifies how those goals will be measured with available data, and identifies additional data/evidence needs for assessing the achievement of the goals.
Developmental Framework
Individual Social Identity Development (Understanding) Part of Something Bigger than Oneself (Reflecting, Discerning, and Applying) Vision of an Intentionally Inclusive Society (Creating Something New)
   

1.C. Creation of a comprehensive assessment plan for DEI, based on the Vision and Goals established by the University community.

Publication of the assessment plan under the pillars of academic excellence, a focus on the whole person and justice as articulated in the vision of the OEI.

1.D. Cabinet members engage in training/ professional development on DEI.

Quantifiable by percent of Cabinet participating.

1.D. Cabinet members apply E&I process to leadership and decision-making.

Reflection: Accountability to Board 

1.D. Cabinet members use and promote the use of shared DEI principles in decision-making, planning, budgeting.

Longer term effects on university data on hiring practices, turnover rates, budgets

1.D. Staff/Admin/Faculty engage in professional development on DEI (beginning, intermediate, or advanced).

Quantifiable by percent of S/A/F participating.

1.D. Staff/Admin/Faculty participate in the creation of shared DEI principles.

Governance and council, including staff council, meeting agendas, minutes].

1.D. Staff/Admin/Faculty use and promote the use of shared DEI principles in university operations.

As measured by targeted equity audits.

Goal II: Inclusion and Accessibility

Rainbow flag/banner at the entrance of a gathering spaceEnsure more inclusive and accessible physical, virtual, sociocultural, and developmental spaces exist so members of our community can work, learn, live, and thrive.

In order to ensure more inclusive and accessible physical, virtual, sociocultural, and developmental spaces exist to work, learn, live and thrive, Loyola University Maryland will complete the following four initiatives by May 31, 2023:

2.A. Communication process

Facilitate communication between offices that support co-curricular programming that builds inclusive cultures. Expand the President’s Council on Equity and Inclusion to include a member with expertise on matters impacting individuals with disabilities.

decorative graphic showing progress Year 3+

Key Leaders:

CEIO, President’s Council, Assistant Director for Interfaith, Director of DSS, Director of ALANA, Director of Employee Engagement

2.B. Physical space for interfaith worship

Monitor and advocate for the designation or development of physical and virtual spaces across campus that promote full participation, dialogue, active engagement, and accessibility including an interfaith worship, meditation, and prayer space.

decorative graphic showing progress Years 2-3

Key Leaders:

CEIO, President’s Council, Assistant Director for Interfaith, Student Leaders, Associate Vice President of Facilities and Campus Services

2.C. Affinity groups

Create and reinvigorate safe spaces to support, empower, advocate, and celebrate affinity groups across the University for students, staff, administrators, and faculty.

decorative graphic showing progress Year 1+

Key Leaders:

CEIO, President’s Council, Director of ALANA, Director of Employee Engagement, Student Leaders

2.D. Resource support

Advocate for additional resources for web accessibility and program expansion for Disability Support Services (including funding to assist student assessment), the Pride Resource Room, and ALANA Services.

decorative graphic showing progress Year 3+

Key Leaders:

CEIO, President’s Council, Director of DSS, Director of ALANA, Student Leaders
Rationale & Impact

Goal II of strategic plan centers the work of the Office of Equity and Inclusion led by the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, President’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion, and student boards to partner with appropriate personnel and offices to ensure the development of inclusive spaces that align with the University mission and support the full participation, growth, and well-being of diverse community members. These spaces are important for the actualization of all individuals. The initiatives in this goal area support the healthy development, exploration, and affirmation of our individual and collective social and cultural identities and the fulfillment of who we are called to be as espoused by the Jesuit educational tradition. Moreover, this goal advocates for the expansion and enhanced communication among programmatic areas that have documented success serving underrepresented students and therefore may contribute more fully to their academic, social, and cultural development.

Summary of Major Actions

Goal II begins with the facilitation of communication between the offices that support co-curricular programming for inclusive cultures. This will involve developing an efficient, yet effective process for thorough identification of the vast number of programs, services, and initiatives aimed at supporting inclusive cultures and strengthening communication avenues among them. With this process in place, appropriate support for existing or new virtual and physical space like an interfaith worship center or expanded disability resource center and additional affinity spaces like White faculty/staff/administrator accountability groups will emerge. This goal will also bring together university data on program outcomes to highlight and advocate for program expansion in key, student-facing areas like Disability Support Services, the Pride Resource Room, and ALANA Services.

Measurable Outcomes

At the conclusion of the three-year strategic plan period, Loyola will have:

  • Developed an annual process that supports communication between campus affinity group leaders and inclusive space directors, and expanded the Council to include a member with expertise in matters impacting individuals with disabilities
  • Collaborated for the development of affinity groups including white affinity groups for faculty, staff, and administrators (WAG), and students. Supported the re-invigoration of BFASA
  • Monitored and advocated for physical space for an interfaith worship, meditation, and prayer
  • Advocated for additional resource support for web accessibility and DSS Services (including funding to assist student assessment), the Pride Resource Room, and ALANA Services.
Developmental Framework
Individual Social Identity Development (Understanding) Part of Something Bigger than Oneself (Reflecting, Discerning, and Applying) Vision of an Intentionally Inclusive Society (Creating Something New)
 

2.A. Establishment of annual process that supports communication among group leaders and inclusive space directors and expanded Council to include a member with expertise in matters impacting individuals with disabilities.

Existence of annual process.

2.A. Collection and Review of university data on inclusive programming outcomes for highlighting, budgeting, and planning for program expansion in key areas.

Evidence-based planning and budgeting documents.

   

2.B. Monitored and advocated for physical space (interfaith worship, meditation, and prayer).

Identification/designation/creation of physical space; establishment of support for those spaces.

2.C. Establishment of White Affinity Groups (WAGs) for Staff, Admin, Faculty, and students.

Existence of WAGs, participation in number and percent of S/A/F, evaluation data.

2.C. Re-invigoration and support of BFASA.

Participation, financial support, evaluation.

 

2.C. Accountability Plans established by the WAG groups.

Accountability plans exist and are in use between/among peers.

 
 

2.D. Advocacy for additional resource support for web accessibility, DSS Services (including funding to assist student assessment), the Pride Resource Room, and ALANA Services.

As part of regular budgeting and planning processes – evidenced by pro forma budgets, governance meeting minutes.

2.D. Additional resource support for web accessibility, DSS, the Pride Resource Room, and ALANA Services.

Establishment of additional funding].

Goal III: Ignatian Citizenship

Baltimore skylineUse mind, body, and spirit to listen for a higher calling; look for a deeper purpose; and lean into a journey that results in transformational change and the articulation of voice that embraces building bridges, seeing local and global issues as interconnected, and taking on the responsibility to apply Jesuit values to make a difference in the world.

In order to facilitate the development of Ignatian citizens in the community who embrace the responsibility to apply Jesuit values to make a difference in the world, including for those on the margins of society, Loyola University Maryland will complete the following five initiatives by May 31, 2023:

3.A. Study Abroad/Study Tour Reflections in Academic Excellence Week

Support implementation of the GAEL short-term strategic initiative to include Study Abroad and Study Tour student reflection presentations as part of Academic Excellence Weekend.

decorative graphic showing progress Year 3+

Key Leaders:

Dean of International Programs, Assistant Director of International Jesuit Collaborations, CEIO, President’s Council

3.B. Baltimore High School Partnerships

Collaborate to gather a University-wide listing and strengthen Baltimore partnerships, collaborations, and pipelines with local high schools, including Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Western High School, and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School; and local non-profit organizations.

decorative graphic showing progress Year 3+

Key Leaders:

CEIO, President’s Council, Dean of Undergraduate Admission

3.C. Baltimore business partnerships

Log existing and advocate for additional Baltimore partnerships and service contracts with local businesses owned by persons of color.

decorative graphic showing progress Year 3+

Key Leaders:

Associate Vice President of Facilities and Campus Services, CEIO, President’s Council

3.D. International week

Develop and implement a virtual International Week.

decorative graphic showing progress Year 1+

Key Leaders:

Assistant Director of International Jesuit Collaborations, CEIO, President’s Council, Student Leaders

3.E. Showcase of community members’ service and partnerships

Create and support mechanisms to showcase students, faculty, staff, and administrators who are in service to and partnership with the City and the State that deepen Loyola’s position as an anchor institution.

decorative graphic showing progress Year 2+

Key Leaders:

Director of CCSJ, CEIO, President’s Council, Student Leaders
Rationale & Impact

Over the next three years, the President’s Advisory Council, student diversity boards, and the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer will work with University partners to support the University’s strategic goal of Ignatian Citizenship. Specific to the intersection of Ignatian Citizenship and diversity, equity, and inclusion, the five initiatives listed above deepen our individual and collective intellectual and civic engagement with justice issues on Loyola’s campuses, our local Baltimore City community, and beyond. These initiatives are practical action steps that suggest the interconnectedness of local and global matters and allow for the real-world application of Jesuit education values to make a positive difference in the city of Baltimore and the world beyond.

Summary of Major Actions

Ignatian Citizenship is operationalized in the initiatives of Goal III. Local and global connections, within the context of diversity, equity, and inclusion, chart a clear pathway for intellectual and civic engagement that lives in aim of fulfillment of a higher purpose that results in transformational change for ourselves, our communities, and our planet. Goal III embraces the work of the GAEL (Global Awareness, Engagement, and Learning) strategic plan for internationalization by emphasizing reflection in the development and commitment to academic excellence. The goal area develops a University-wide record and strengthens through advocacy partnerships for undergraduate student enrollment and minority business collaboration. Finally, the goal area uses celebration through the development of a virtual International Week to build bridges and increase dialogue that makes clear the connections between Loyola, the city of Baltimore, and global communities more broadly.

Measurable Outcomes

At the conclusion of three years, Loyola will have:

  • supported implementation of student reflection presentations on study abroad and study tours as part of Academic Excellence Weekend;
  • collaborated to strengthen Baltimore partnerships, collaborations, and pipelines with Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Western High School, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, and local non-profit organizations;
  • logged and advocated for Baltimore city business partnerships and service contracts with local businesses owned by persons of color;
  • developed and implemented a virtual International Week to become part of an annual celebration of local and global communities; and
  • showcased community members’ partnerships with and service to Baltimore City and the state of Maryland that deepen Loyola’s position as an anchor institution.
Developmental Framework
Individual Social Identity Development (Understanding) Part of Something Bigger than Oneself (Reflecting, Discerning, and Applying) Vision of an Intentionally Inclusive Society (Creating Something New)

3.A. Implementation of GAEL short-term initiative, including study abroad and study tour student reflection presentations (Academic Excellence Weekend).

Student reflections presentations incorporate interconnected nature of local and global issues; student voice that embraces building bridges.

3.A. Strengthening of collective intellectual and civic engagement. Connecting communities through discussion.

Student reflections presentations, skill development].

 

3.B. Strengthen Baltimore partnerships, collaborations, and pipelines with local high schools and non-profit organizations.

Quantifiable by number of collaborations, partnerships, pipelines compared to baseline].

 
   

3.C. Advocacy for Baltimore city business partnerships and service contracts with local businesses owned by persons of color.

Quantifiable by number of partnerships and contracts compared to baseline.

3.D. Development of virtual International Week.

Planning for the week, student engagement in planning, clarity of the connection between local and global communities in the planning.

3.D. Implementation of a virtual International Week.

Establishment of, participation numbers, impact on building bridges and increasing dialogue in connection between local and global communities.

3.D. Creation of a Pathway for intellectual and civic engagement.

By virtue of student and S/A/F engagement with Goal 3 initiatives, articulation of a pathway forward that further defines Ignatian Citizenship.

3.E. Showcase of partnerships and service to Baltimore and the state.

Showcase opportunity, participation listing 
and numbers.