The Office of Academic Affairs works collaboratively with administrators, staff, and campus organizations to create a welcoming climate for all members of the Loyola community. This contributes to the University's mission to teach students to learn, live, and lead in a diverse and changing world. Further, the University core value of Diversity states in part, "Loyola also seeks to encourage all of its constituents to respect, value, and welcome 'the inherent value and dignity of each person' as a gifted contributor to the community as a whole. The University is of course committed to challenging and repudiating prejudice in all its forms, and to encouraging global and international awareness, both within and outside its curricula."
Diversity and inclusion are guiding principles that inform all aspects of Academic Affairs, including hiring practices, curricular development and program administration, faculty development, and budgeting. In particular, the Associate Vice President for Graduate Academic Affairs and Diversity:
- Infuses faculty development programming with attention to the needs, perspectives, and contributions of members of underrepresented groups.
- Coordinates several diversity and inclusion initiatives, including two headline events for the entire campus:
- The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation each January, inaugurated in 1993. The event provides an opportunity for Loyola and Baltimore to come together for meaningful inquiry into American legacies of race and racism. Recent speakers have included Ta-Nehisi Coates, Claudia Rankine, Teju Cole, and Roxane Gay.
- Campus-wide Diversity Reading Groups each fall, which allows members of the community to join national conversations about equity and inclusion.
- Advises the Vice President of Academic Affairs on best hiring practices and serves as a resource to hiring departments to build a broad and diverse candidate pool leading to the best hire.
- Serves as a liaison to affinity groups, as well as a resource should new groups seek to form. Supports affinity groups on various inclusion efforts, such as Safe Zone training, campus programming, and policy recommendations.
- Serves on the President's Council for Equity and Inclusion, established in late spring 2017 as a strategic plan in initiative.
- Contributes efforts within Academic Affairs or the University to gather climate data that inform academic policies, programs, and priorities.
- Collaborates with other offices on diversity-related initiatives and serves as a general resource to the campus regarding climate-enhancing efforts.
- The Office of Academic Affairs also collaborates with the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee to administer the Diversity Course Requirement.
Academic Affairs is committed to supporting efforts for sustained conversation and inquiry into key matters of equity and inclusion, especially racial justice.