North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Office of Diversity

Council for Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Statement from North Park University Regarding Campus Pastor

Centered in the Christian gospel, North Park University is committed to serving students regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. The University is further committed to creating an environment where every student can flourish and realize their full potential.

The University sincerely regrets and is sorry for the hurt and confusion experienced by students, faculty, staff, and friends of the school in the days since the news of the actions taken by the Evangelical Covenant Church leading to the North Park University campus pastor’s sabbatical and suspension of credential.

Since the announcement of her sabbatical, we have received a number of questions about how we care for our LGBTQ students and how we promote the Covenant tradition of open dialogue on difficult topics. We are working to respond to these concerns of students, alumni and other community members. The University has been and will take the following steps to meet these concerns:

  • Hosting a campus-wide conversation presenting a variety of perspectives on faith, scripture and sexuality in order to advance and model a faithful dialogue.
  • Creating space for personal story-telling sessions for students and listening sessions for the administration to fully hear the concerns of the student body.
  • Forming a joint task force with representatives from Student Government and the Queers and Allies student organization to review university policy on bias to ensure LGBTQ students are properly protected and supported.
  • Developing through the Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion a set of recommendations for additional programmatic ways to care for LGBTQ students.
  • Immediately expanding our student care work to ensure high-quality counseling services to all students to help them grow into their full potential in an environment free from judgment and shame.

Carl Balsam
Interim President
North Park University

About the Council

The Council for Diversity Equity and Inclusion is constructed to ensure the appreciation of campus diversity and the adherence to student, staff, and faculty racial equality.

This council serves as the primary policy advisory group on issues of diversity and racial equality at North Park University and develops comprehensive reports on the success of achieving strategic goals as it pertains to diversity, equity, and inclusion to the campus community. This council serves as a direct advisor for North Park University and the Senior Team as it pertains to diversity, equity, and inclusion policy and procedural decisions.

The Council for Diversity Equity and Inclusion stays abreast of relevant issues including, but not limited to:

  • Recruitment, retention, and promotion of faculty and professional/administrative staff from diverse populations
  • Assessing group-based inequalities and inequities
  • Academic success of a diverse racial and ethnic student body including curriculum, and campus climate concerns
  • Addressing conduct that impedes the educational mission of the University

Goals:

Reduce the number of incidents of bias on campus

Refer them to the resources and services available.

Educate the campus community about the impact of bias.

Promote initiatives and new ideas that foster an inclusive and welcoming climate at North Park University

Support those who are/have been unfairly targeted or mistreated.

Success:

Measured by assessing the tangible progress made towards accomplishing diversity strategic goals as well as monitoring the reduction of incidents of bias.

Strategic goals for shared partnership:

  • Ensure there is institutional commitment and leadership to serve a diverse student body
  • Collect data and conduct evaluations to improve activities
  • Use engaging pedagogies for student success
  • Use evidenced based strategies to recruit, retain, and propel minority students to graduate from college
  • Ensure the adherence to equitable hiring practices of a diverse pool of faculty and staff

Council Members:

Dr. Sumie Song, Director of International Office

Jacqueline Strapp, M.Ed., Director of Diversity

Dr. Liza Ann Acosta, University Dean

Dr. Barrington Price, Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement