GC institutes new Diversity Action Plan


Katie Futch

GC recently announced its new Diversity Action Plan for the academic years 2022 – 2025. This plan included four overarching goals.

This first was to “increase the diversity among students, staff and faculty by attracting and retaining more people from underrepresented backgrounds to be part of our campus community.”


Their first strategy is to expand the recruiting outreach to a larger pool of students. In three years, they hope to increase the overall underrepresented student population at GC by at least 25%.

GC also plans to provide ongoing programs for mentoring, advising, tutoring, and counseling outreach for underrepresented students. They plan to hire an assistant director in the Cultural Center to oversee the outreach programs.


In this plan, GC emphasized that the faculty and staff embrace diversity. To ensure inclusivity, they plan to hold mandatory training sessions each fall and spring to address issues in the classroom that make students feel alienated or disrespected. These training sessions will also discuss ways staff can ensure they are respectful and welcoming to students.


GC also will review why underrepresented students do not attend when accepted or leave the university before they graduate. They plan to create a text database where they send a phone satisfaction survey at midterms and at the end of the semester to these students.


GC wants to continue to retain underrepresented staff by becoming a more inclusive, engaging and professionally affirming community. Currently, approximately 35 percent of the staff at GC are in the minority.


“The diversity challenge with staff is in creating opportunities for advancement, general respect (microaggressions, bias, etc.) and their full engagement with the life of the college,” said Dr. Carolyn Denard, the associate vice president for the inclusive excellence and chief diversity officer.

Likewise, 23.4 percent of faculty at GC are underrepresented. Over the next three years, they hope to increase this to 30 percent.


The second goal of the Diversity Action Plan is to “ensure a climate that is welcoming, affirming, and respectful for all of the diverse groups of people who study and work here and for those who live in our surrounding communities.” 


They plan to develop an initiative for new and continuing faculty, staff and students that make them feel valued and respected members of the GC community.


One action includes holding an annual informational Diversity Fall Open House event for new faculty and staff can visit offices that serve the underrepresented community on GC’s campus.

They will also continue to hold information sessions through the Diversity 360 programs on microaggressions, unconscious bias, respecting names, “layers of diversity”, and other important topics to make sure that the GC community is welcoming, respectful, and affirming of all underrepresented groups.


Their third goal is to “support opportunities, through research, professional development, and high impact learning to allow all faculty, staff, and students to realize their full potential as contributing and successful members of our college community.”


A highlight of this new Diversity Action Plan is to focus on the local community. They plan to create a community partnerships coordinator position; they will specifically focus on working with the community to better understand how GC can meet the needs of the community.


GC also plans to provide opportunities for the community to shape the agenda and the conversations that will help build a more inclusive community partnership. They are currently working on building a community advisory board that consists of local community members. This will help with collaboration on how the community wishes to partner with the college.


Finally, the fourth goal is to “be accountable for the timely completion of the important tasks that we have set forth in this New Diversity Action Plan to advance diversity at Georgia College.”

GC plans to ensure that the senior administrators embrace this Diversity Action Plan. They will make sure they provide financial, visible, and collaborative support for the plan’s actions. GC will publish regular reports on the progress and achievements of this plan. Finally, they are requesting regular feedback from faculty, staff, students and the Milledgeville community on the diversity and inclusion of the university’s progress on the Diversity Action Plan.