AAPI Student Update

TO: Gonzaga Students
FROM: Dr. Anne Marie Caño, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
Dr. Robin Kelley, Chief Diversity Officer
SUBJ: AAPI Student Update
DATE: Apr 25, 2022

Thank you for the conversations you have initiated within the campus community to help us animate our commitment to respecting, honoring, and supporting all students, as well as to increase campus diversity and intercultural fluency. We want to provide you with details on how we are responding to the recommendations you have brought before us to reinforce Gonzaga’s commitment to the cultural development of campus.

Recommendations from AAPI students included:

  1. Implementing an Asian American Studies minor
  2. Creating a Diversity class as part of the University Core curriculum
  3. Creating hiring lines for staff and faculty of color
  4. Increasing funding for Asian language programs and expanding Asian language options

Pertaining to academic growth opportunities noted above, Dean Annmarie Caño of the College of Arts and Sciences met with student leaders in the campus AAPI community recently to share how the College specifically is addressing the needs. Below are updates Dean Caño provided.

  • The Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) department will offer an Asian American Studies course in fall 2022 and spring 2023, taught by one of the post-doc faculty members who joined GU in January 2022. CRES is also an appropriate area in which to build a concentration in Asian American studies; however, to establish a minor, there must be interest in those courses. Our best indicator of student interest is enrollment. Our hope is that students register for this course and fill the class so we can build on this success with a second course and eventually a minor.
  • The College has a focus on hiring faculty who demonstrate inclusive pedagogy and curricula related to topics of interest to historically underrepresented communities. With this approach, students can experience a more diverse curricula within many areas (for example political science, religious studies, and history).
  • Students have expressed interest in and challenges with additional language courses, however filling those courses remains a challenge, sometimes due to the schedules of teachers who are often Fulbright scholars with their own course loads. The dean and the Modern Languages & Literature department are seeking additional strategies to address these concerns. The department hosted an information session on April 19 to share current strategies with and seek input from students in Asian language courses. You were also invited to participate in this session.

Related to hiring more faculty and staff of color, GU’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Human Resources department are actively working to address the need for more racial diversity in the workplace, including working toward more inclusive recruitment efforts. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in collaboration with the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, and the Faculty Senate are in the process of revising the Faculty Recruitment and Retention policy to include diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. In addition, some divisions on campus have implemented their own specific guidelines to increase diversity that are having positive results. For example, of the 10 new tenure-track faculty who are joining the College of Arts and Sciences in Fall 2022, 60% are faculty of color. The School of Education also has taken steps to recruit diverse faculty and staff. A similar focus is in place in Student Affairs, which is developing a guide for recruiting and hiring diverse staff, and workgroups focusing on DEI student staff recruitment and retention. Lastly, the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have developed and implemented recruitment strategies for all University schools and colleges.

Responding to the requests of the Black Student Union last academic year, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion put together a task force to address the hiring of more faculty and staff of color. In response, Student Affairs hired a full-time counselor of color and a full-time psychologist of color, and another counselor of color is on contract. Additionally, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion administer the Underrepresented Postdoctoral Fellowship program, which has resulted in two exemplary faculty of color in the Music and CRES department. ODEI is currently working with three University schools, School of Leadership Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, and Foley Library to bring three more faculty of color to Gonzaga for the 2022-2023 academic year.

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion collaborated with the CORE Executive Committee via Dr. Robin Kelley to update the Bachelorette Learning Objectives to include diversity, equity, and inclusion principles. The Bachelorette Learning Objectives were approved recently by the Academic Council.

Reports of hate crimes are handled by Campus Security & Public Safety, and reports of bias incidents are handled by the BIAS Team through the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Resources and support are provided by many university offices and divisions such as ODEI, Student Affairs, Human Resources, schools and colleges.

The safety and whole-person wellbeing of our students is our foremost concern. Gonzaga is so grateful for the Asian American and Pacific Islander members of our campus community, and appreciates the partnership of all students in helping us to live our mission and values.


Dr. Annmarie Caño, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Robin Kelley, Chief Diversity Officer

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