DEIJ Strategic Plan
President’s Charge to the Community
California Lutheran University is a future-focused, faith-friendly institution whose mission and values reinforce the power and potential of diversity and inclusion. These two characteristics of our community are ones we hold dear and expect to operationalize day in and day out. Indeed, the faculty and staff at Cal Lutheran are called and empowered to challenge barriers that limit human potential as we prepare students to lead a life of meaning and purpose in pursuit of socially-just communities.
The actualization of diversity and inclusion does not occur by happenstance but rather by purposeful and inclusive planning. With that in mind, constituents from all parts of the institution have been called together over the last fifteen months to formulate three university-wide plans: the Strategic Plan, the Campus Plan, and the integrated Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) Plan. Together, these three plans will directly shape California Lutheran University’s future. When we say we are a “Future-Focused University,” we mean it…and these plans detail what that future will look like.
The DEIJ Strategic Plan described below is the first in our University’s history, and it has come together thanks to the collective efforts and energies of DEIJ champions. The foundation for this plan was set years ago by colleagues who helped us achieve our designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Today’s DEIJ Plan builds on this groundwork by cultivating a community of practice that seeks to use our Lutheran values to concretely address the evolving needs of our Latinx and historically underserved students.
The formulation of the particular plan that follows was undertaken by the University’s inaugural Chief Diversity Officer and the cross-departmental core team with whom she partners. During the 2021-22 academic year, these DEIJ experts and advocates crafted an early draft of the plan, and I thank them for getting us started.
Like many realistic and functional plans, this is an iterative one that will change and develop as more and more people get involved and lend their expertise and experience. Therefore, I invite all of you reading it to lend your voice, your support, and your experience. There are many ways to get and stay involved in DEIJ work, and the more of us who do so, the broader and deeper the impact of our intentions.
Help us bring it to life in ways that will positively and productively shape the community where we work and study.
Lori E. Varlotta, PhD