Intercultural and Global Engagement Leadership
Westmont’s commitment to diversity is the responsibility of many members across its community made up of trustees, executive leadership, faculty, staff, students and external organizations and resourceful groups.
Follow Christ with Fierce Urgency
In February 2020, I heard Dr. Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., speak on the fierce urgency of following Christ to combat systemic racism. Teaching from Luke 9:23, she said we need to see that Jesus set aside His privilege, took on responsibility for the sins of humankind—which He Himself did not commit—and accomplished justice through His love and power.
This good and timely word speaks to us at Westmont. Jesus calls us to take up the cross by accepting responsibility for the condition of the world and the church, even if these are a result of sins we did not personally commit or unjust systems we ourselves did not create. We must do as Jesus taught, beginning with denying ourselves, putting personal and self-interests aside, engaging in dialogue, combating systemic racism and working to bring reconciliation. At Westmont, we’ll pursue equity, inclusion and diversity with our strategic efforts, plans and programs and with on-going tenacity. We will also pursue reconciliation in our relationships by listening, being present with and respecting every voice and the dignity of each person as a bearer of God’s image.
We’re committed to this important Kingdom work on our campus, in the church and in the world around us - near and far. We’ll follow Christ and as He calls and enables us, we will do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
Edee Schulze, Vice President for Student Life
Westmont's strategic map is a one-page display of the college's central challenge, strategic priorities and strategic objectives for a three-year period. The strategic map identifies our priorities for diversity and global engagement as follows:
- Nourish a Sense of Belonging for Students of Color
- Hire and Retain Diverse Faculty
- Bolster Recruitment and Retention Strategies (Diversity)
- Bolster Recruitment and Retention Strategies
- Hire and Retain Diverse Staff
- Increase Diversity and Global Engagement Across the College
- Nourish the Commitment, Culture, and Skills to Thrive as a Diverse Community
Westmont’s strategic map is a one-page display of the college’s central challenge, strategic priorities and strategic objectives for a three-year period. The central challenge is articulated in the oval at the top and is supported by several strategic priorities, each with strategic objectives. Cross-cutting priorities, indicated at the bottom of the map, must be considered for any other strategic priorities to be considered complete.
- Emphasizes ongoing efforts to hire diverse faculty to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body and support achievement of Cross-cutting Strategic Priorities F and G
- Stresses increased efforts to retain diverse faculty in a highly competitive environment with the high cost of living in Santa Barbara and the financial constraints of the College
- Focuses on multiple efforts across the College to create a sense of belonging –including creating a mindset, ethos, and culture that supports belonging
- Stresses developing appropriate skills to help students and the entire Westmont community participate in and support a sense of belonging for all students
- Focuses on increasing the diversity of staff and improving staff retention –particularly with the high costs of Santa Barbara and the constraints Westmont faces in terms of compensation
- Emphasizes efforts to ensure Westmont has a diverse staff capable of supporting its mission and essential services
- Places continuing emphasis on increasing the diversity of the College consistent with its mission and core college statements – complementing increasing student diversity with increasing the diversity of faculty and staff
- Stresses ongoing efforts to increase global engagement across the College, particularly in an environment of increasing global challenges (including global sustainability)
- Recognizes that increasing the diversity of the Westmont community places unique challenges on the College’s community life
- Emphasizes implementing efforts to nourish commitment to growing as a diverse community
- Emphasizes helping students and the entire Westmont community develop the capacity for critical commitment
- Stresses developing the culture of the College and the skills of community members to help Westmont thrive as an increasingly diverse community
Becoming a Reconciling Community Leadership (BaRC) Team:
This BaRC Leadership Team composed of faculty, staff, and administrators works closely with David Bailey and his Arrabon team to develop a vision of and leadership for becoming more of a reconciling community.
BaRC members include:
The Work of Arrabon
Arrabon equips Christian leaders and their communities to effectively engage in reconciliation. Westmont’s two-year agreement with Arrabon from 2020-2022 includes activities such as coordinating and leading focus groups, workshops, planning, and programming across the Westmont community for its faculty, staff, and students.
Arrabon will facilitate the convergence of shared knowledge, language, and civil dialogue for the entire Westmont College community to gain a shared vision and be on the transformational journey to becoming a reconciling community.
The Arrabon Process
Ethics is the preferred apologetics for Gen Z. In previous generations, evangelism was about answering questions of epistemology, “How do we know?” In this generation, young people are asking, “What do we do about what’s broken in this world?” When a Christian community is on the transformational journey of becoming a reconciling community, we become a ‘foretaste’ of the Kingdom of God that this generation is longing for.
David Bailey, Executive Director
Diversity and Global Engagement Trustee Committee:
A committee representing members of Westmont's Board of Trustees, chaired by Edee Schultze, Vice President for Student Life, and Provost Mark Sargent, address and discuss Westmont's strategic planning efforts to support initiatives centered on diversity and global engagement opportunities as identified in Westmont's strategic plan. This group works to prepare Westmont students to address long-standing, embedded issues in culture and society. This group meets three times a year.
Campus Diversity Committee:
The purpose of the diversity committee is to address and focus on specific diversity initiatives that advance the mission and vision of Westmont’s commitment to diversity. The responsibilities of this committee include:
- Establish links with others across the Westmont community who are working to address diversity-related issues—including Trustee Diversity Committee, Executive Team, Human Resources, Residence Life, Intercultural Programs, Diversity Recruitment Specialists, and Off Campus Programs.
- To seek to build community-wide awareness and ownership of diversity-related issues and of appropriate ways to address them.
- To summarize the various challenges and opportunities related to diversity that currently face the College.
- To enlist additional faculty, administrators and staff to work with the Committee on special initiatives.
- To recommend priorities and propose implementation plans to the President’s Executive Team.
- To make annual reports on the Committee’s work to the Faculty, the Executive Team and the Trustee Diversity Committee.
Members of this committee:
Westmont’s Global Education programs are led by various faculty members:
Director of Global Education
Assistant Director of Global Education
In Student Life two staff members are specifically tasked with building programs related to Diversity and Global Engagement
The charge to this committee is also found here.
Hispanic Serving Institution Initiative
Westmont College is working towards becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution. Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) are defined as colleges, universities, or systems/districts where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25% of the total enrollment.
Each year we see the number of students of diverse backgrounds increase at Westmont and we are encouraged by the steady increase. As of fall 2020, the percentage of Hispanic students currently enrolled at Westmont is at 21.4%. Reaching 25% and being categorized as an HSI will make Westmont eligible to receive grants and scholarships that will open up more opportunities and provide helpful resources to our Hispanic and Latinx students and their overall success.
Leading this strategic college effort are:
Irene Neller is the VP of Enrollment, Marketing and Communications. She has been in higher education for 33 years. She is a first generation Hispanic and has a heart for helping students accomplish their college dreams. She’s an advocate for under-served students and has dedicated her energy to advancing initiatives that can serve and resource them well.
Brenda is the eldest of five siblings ranging from the age of six to seventeen years old. She is a first generation student who desires to assist other students who are also first generation and challenged by the college admissions and financial aid processes. She knows first hand that coming from a family without an educational background can strain the effort to pursue attending college. Difficulties can arise in the admissions and financial aid processes, including filing forms like the FAFSA, and she hopes to step in to help them as they eventually transition as well from home to living away in college.