President’s Advisory Council for a Respectful, Inclusive Community

The President’s Advisory Council informs and amplifies the existing initiatives to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at St. Edward's and identifies new efforts to be considered by the president.

At the beginning of Spring 2017, St. Edward’s University President George E. Martin announced the creation of the President’s Advisory Council for a Respectful, Inclusive Community. The council is charged with assessing how well the university is honoring the values that have guided our past and to make recommendations on how we might improve our efforts in the future.

Along with the establishment of the PAC and its charge, Dr. Martin identified members, which included students, faculty and staff, and asked the council to review our campus efforts and propose recommendations for how the university can better serve our diverse community. In its annual report to Dr. Martin in June 2018, the council made 12 recommendations, which Dr. Martin accepted. Strategies drawn from these recommendations have guided the diversity, equity and inclusion work of the university in following years. Each annual report provides an update on existing strategies, as well as newly identified strategies, that support these 12 recommendations.

Presidents Advisory Council Recommendations 

  1. Assess campus climate and utilize data analytics to inform campus equity initiatives.
  2. Recruit, hire, retain and promote a diverse faculty and staff throughout the organization, including leadership, to create an equitable and inclusive university community.
  3. Make a more inclusive physical environment that reflects our mission through consideration of building names, art and accessibility.
  4. Institutionalize campus equity and inclusion goals and objectives.
  5. Increase visibility and accessibility to existing and new resources for immediate student needs with consideration to the disparate impact on students from marginalized identities.
  6. Implement a comprehensive equity and inclusion development plan to train our campus community, beginning with the Board of Trustees, senior administration, key stakeholders and decision makers.
  7. Develop and communicate university decisions with students in ways that invite involvement and foster agency, while understanding and acknowledging vulnerable student populations may be impacted in disparate ways.
  8. Ensure the social justice and equity perspective remains essential to the curriculum, especially in the implementation of the new General Education plan.
  9. Position faculty, staff and students to be true partners in the financial operations of the institution; and make and communicate equitable financial decisions that value student completion and disrupt networks of privilege.
  10. Establish a listening and restorative practices strategy for the campus community that identifies and addresses institutional needs for racial healing and transformation.
  11. Adapt the methods and strategies used for messaging, marketing and narratives shared about the St. Edward's experience to foster an equitable and inclusive community.
  12. Expand on-campus representation of marginalized and underrepresented communities and their stories through the selection of speakers, visiting lecturers and performers.

The PAC is currently co-chaired by Sharon Nell, dean of Arts and Humanities, and Father Peter Walsh, CSC, director of Campus Ministry. Erica Zamora ’11, director of Student Diversity and Inclusion, will replace Father Walsh in January of 2021.

To contact the PAC with your questions and comments, email the co-chairs, Sharon Nell and Father Peter Walsh.

View all PAC resources, including the council’s strategic plan, goals, annual reports and roster.