IT Community Message - 3/2/2021

Last week I attended Women in Technology @ UCI's event "Allyship that makes an impact: How to support women in IT" and was energized by the guest speaker, Karen Catlin, and the panel that was put together. Thank you to the organizers. If you missed it, it's now posted online. I found the advice of our speaker very pragmatic and doable for any person who wants to take small and simple steps to be more aware and do better.

The topic of Inclusive Excellence (IE) is near and dear to my heart and, as you know, an important aspect of our mission here as a public research university. This topic can be difficult even to talk about. As my colleague Doug Haynes (UCI's Vice Chancellor for Inclusive Excellence) reminds me, "we have to meet people where they're at."Every person has in their own mind a place where they're at on the topic of Inclusive Excellence. It can be a challenge to find the courage to bring that point out of your head and into a discussion. I've been there myself (and in some ways still am). It can be scary to engage. It can be equally scary when you decide to move past engagement and decide to act. But it is with our actions that each of us can play a role in making our environment and our culture a place more open and accepting.

While making meaningful change toward Inclusive Excellence does not work well through mandates, I do feel it is part of my role to invite you, and strongly encourage you, to engage in it - if for no other reason than to help you understand where you are at currently, provide you the opportunity to better understand your colleagues, and move that point in your mind and in your own actions. One way to participate is to respond to the Campus Climate Survey.

My office (Office of Data and Information Technology) will continue to be involved in providing opportunities for all of us to engage, dialogue, and participate in actions that support our overall UCI Inclusive Excellence Action Plan and continue to demonstrate UCI's thought leadership on the topic. We are currently working on scheduling an IT Town Hall with VC Haynes and working with IT Leadership to share the data on the current picture of diversity in the whole UCI IT community. I invite you to participate, in whatever means is most comfortable for you, or maybe in a means that is slightly uncomfortable. It's always your choice; we will meet you where you are at. I look forward to our journey together and strongly encourage you to just get started. The first/next step collectively can make a big impact.