Leading for Change

Leading for Change is our university-level diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) team that serves as one of the driving forces for moving our institutional strategic plan forward.
Hate Has No Home Here signs

Leading for Change is Fitchburg State's university-level diversity, equity, and inclusion team. The team consists of a core group, and then five active sub-committees working on the following topics:

  • Actions inspired by what we learned from the Pride Index 
  • “We are All Educators” programming series
  • Expanding policy audits with a DEI lens across campus
  • Disseminating information about the Fall 2022 climate survey (read the Fall 2020 survey results)
  • Inclusive employee hiring initiative

Descriptions and leads of the subcommittees can be found below.

We are continuing the identity-based programming fund through which members of our community can apply for support. This funding is a combination of a gift from the Newman Center and funds from the university’s operating budget. Each of these programming months has been allocated $2,500: Black History Month, Disability History Month, Latinx Heritage Month, LGBTQ+ History Month, and Women’s History Month. Interested in applying for funding? Fill out this form.

Other reminders:

  • There is a dedicated email for Leading for Change that is checked regularly. Please feel free to use this email, or contact one of the core group members with ideas, questions, concerns, etc. The email is leadingchange@fitchburgstate.edu. Additional information can be found on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion web page.

  • The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) ensures students, faculty, and staff affected by bias or a bias-related incident have access to appropriate resources and assists the university in its response in situations that may impact the overall campus climate around diversity and inclusion. The team reviews and responds to reported bias-related incidents in an educational and non-confrontational and non-punitive manner.  

Don’t forget that “Hate has No Home Here” signs are available at the Hammond Hall information desk! Get yours today.

Thank you for committing to this important work that is centered in our institutional mission and core values and furthers progress on our strategic plan.

Action Items for 2022-23

(Laura Bayless and Shane Franzen)

Last year, Fitchburg State participated in the Pride Index survey for the first time in recent history. This exercise identified several areas of action we will focus on this year. One, ensuring that LGBTQ+ issues, concerns, and representations are present in policies, which ties into the policy audit. Another action item includes the exploration of starting an active LGBTQ+ alumni group.

(Junior Peña)

One of the cornerstones of being a student-ready campus is fostering the fact that all employees are educators, no matter the role. This programming series is designed to promote staff understanding themselves to be educators and to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities that assist Fitchburg State in being more effective at serving all populations of students. Last year we facilitated two panels of undergraduate, graduate, and international students to better understand the needs of our community. This upcoming year we are looking to establish ongoing opportunities for the entire campus community to learn new ways to support our students. 

(Hank Parkinson)

This year is about putting the robust policy audit guide and rubric to action. It is a university priority for all administrative offices to conduct policy audits using a DEI lens. To assist in this process, Fitchburg State has committed funding to hire consultants to support departments through the audit. If you are interested in accessing the funding, please contact Hank Parkinson for more information.

(Pam McCafferty)

The next administration of the Climate Survey will happen in Fall 2022. In the Spring, we will begin to share some of the results and recommended actions.

(Bill Cummings and Kim Page)

The university-wide inclusive hiring initiative is a joint collaboration being led by Human Resources and supported by the Leading for Change initiative. This initiative aims to develop sustainable guidelines and training on compliant and inclusive hiring practices that align with the university’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, belonging, and social justice. These resources will support efforts to reaffirm the University commitment to developing diverse candidate pools, inclusive hiring, building an increasingly diverse workforce, and more fully realize the promise of Fitchburg State as a place where everyone can flourish.

Identity Based Programming

Use this form to request funding for identity-based programming. This will most likely occur in designated months, but requests for individual programs will also be considered.

If you would like to communicate directly with the Leading for Change Team, you may contact any of the co-chairs, or use the email below.  Co-chairs, Laura Bayless (VP for Student Affairs) lbayless@fitchburgstate.edu, Patricia Marshall (VP for Academic Affairs) pmarsha5@fitchburgstate.edu, and Jessica Murdoch (VP for Human Resources and Payroll Services) jmurdoch@fitchburgstate.edu.