University President signs CEO Diversity & Inclusion Pledge

Emma McLaughlin

Last week was a historic mark for the University as University President Reverend Peter Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D. signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge. He is one of the first college presidents to sign this pledge which pushes to improve diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

This is the largest CEO driven business advancement of its kind. Donohue firmly believes in the importance of this pledge and plans to implement it on campus. He wants to foster a community where open dialogue and conversation is allowed and encouraged between both students, staff, faculty and administration. Donohue wants the community to promote respect and inclusion in every aspect of life here. He believed signing the pledge would help further promote these ideas. 

The University is among not only a group of colleges that signed this pledge, but also more than 300 CEOs of major companies and organizations. These companies have promised to work towards making diversity and inclusion a strong addition of their institutions. 

Diversity and inclusion have always been an integral part of the University’s values. Donohue signed the pledge to further Villanova’s already established roots in this area. In 2015, the University founded the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) led by Dr. Terry Nance, Associate Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. This office focuses on promoting inclusiveness on campus and encouraging open dialogue about the challenges that the campus faces with it. ODI tries to make the University a welcoming and supportive campus. 

On Tuesday, October 17th, Villanova hosted a campus tour event in partnership with CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion called “Check your Blind Spots.” The event took place behind the Connelly Center from 12-4 p.m. Many students are unaware of the diversity around campus. This event provided an opportunity for students to learn about the unconscious bias. It also gave them a chance to learn about CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion and the Villanova commitment to create a more inclusive campus community.

The tour is visiting college campuses across the country to reveal the unconscious biases to college students and empower them to take part in diversity and inclusion conversations both in their communities and with their future employers. The unconscious bias is triggered by our subconscious mind’s and happens without our knowledge. Students who attended watched a video exposing unexpected conversations that happen in everyday life. Participants hopefully gained a better understanding of preexisting biases that exist in society and have a better understanding of their role in advancing diversity and inclusion.