VILLANOVA, Pa.—Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, is among the first college presidents to sign The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge—the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. By signing onto this commitment, Villanova is pledging to take action to further cultivate a workplace and environment where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected and where students, faculty and staff feel encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion.
Signatories of this commitment are leaders of companies and organizations who agree to implement the pledge within their respective workplaces and to support other companies in doing the same. Villanova joins a growing coalition of more than 300 CEOs of some the world’s leading companies and organizations who have signed the pledge.
“At Villanova, we place a high value on building community among our members,” said University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD. “Community begins by reaching out to others, engaging in difficult dialogue, embracing differences and challenging preconceptions. Signing this pledge reaffirms our commitment to diversity and inclusion in all areas at Villanova.”
Diversity and inclusion are integral components of Villanova’s mission and its institutional diversity efforts strive to foster and celebrate diversity, while promoting inclusiveness within the campus culture. To further elevate its commitment, the University created the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) in 2015 led by Dr. Terry Nance, Associate Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. ODI supports Villanova’s continuing efforts to create a welcoming and diverse community at all levels, including students, faculty, administrators and staff.
“These are exciting times at Villanova University around issues of diversity and inclusion,” said Terry Nance, PhD, Associate Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. “Father Donohue’s signing the CEO Action pledge, as one of the first college presidents to do so, heralds his commitment to authentic community for everyone on our campus. As Villanova’s president, he knows that our commitment to diversity goes far beyond his signature on the pledge. There are new courses, new professors and new programs that all respond to a world growing more diverse by the minute.”
Recent initiatives at Villanova include the launch of The Center for Access, Success and Achievement—which aims to recruit, retain, and graduate underrepresented, first generation and Pell Eligible students—and the creation of the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership, an interdisciplinary institute dedicated to fostering women’s advancement through education, advocacy, community‐building and the collaborative creation of new knowledge. Within the academic curriculum, Villanova has expanded its Intergroup Relations Program, which focuses on creating understanding relationships among people from different social, economic, racial and ethnic groups. This past summer, the University held an intense week-long Intergroup Dialogue Faculty Program, “Teaching 2020,” providing instruction on how to employ teaching techniques using dialogue and effectively facilitate meaningful discussion with students on difficult topics.
“As a university, Villanova understands that diversity is far more than just having people who look different from one another,” added Nance. “Diversity, equity and inclusion is about delivering to our students a 21st century education in an environment that will allow them to compete in a global economy and work effectively across differences.”
On Tuesday, Oct. 17, Villanova will host a “Check Your Blind Spots” campus tour event in partnership with CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™. The “Check Your Blind Spots” event, which will take place from 12-4 p.m. behind the Connelly Center, aims to give students the opportunity to learn about unconscious bias. Students will be exposed to the nuances of unconscious bias and will have the opportunity to learn about CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ and which companies and organizations are committed to affecting change toward a more inclusive society.
Signatories of the CEO Action pledge have committed to three initial actions to catalyze further conversation and engagement around diversity and inclusion within the workplace and foster collaboration among organizations:
- Continue to cultivate workplaces that support open dialogue on complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion
- Implement and expand unconscious bias education
- Share thinking, successes and challenges to help other companies evolve and enhance their current diversity strategies
The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is cultivating a new type of ecosystem centered around collaboration and sharing. The actions, available via CEOAction.com, showcase real-life examples of the open and transparent conversations to cultivate more diverse and inclusive workplace environments. The addition of new signatories expands the impact of this work beyond the office to communities and industries. The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is led by a steering committee of CEOs and leaders from Accenture, BCG, Deloitte US, The Executive Leadership Council, EY, General Atlantic, KPMG, New York Life, Procter & Gamble and PwC.
About CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™: CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. Bringing together more than 270 CEOs of America’s leading organizations, the commitment outlines actions that participating companies pledge to take to cultivate a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected, employees feel comfortable and encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion, and where best known—and unsuccessful—actions can be shared across organizations. Learn more at CEOAction.com.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.