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About Us

Our Purpose

The SVSU Office of Diversity Programs is committed to building an inclusive campus that promotes social harmony, cultural competency, and learning vitality.

It is our goal to encourage the community to accept and embrace the many diverse cultures and backgrounds that surround all of us, not only at SVSU but throughout the region, the nation, and the world.

Through our comprehensive programs, services, and sponsorships, the Office of Diversity Programs fosters an appreciation and respect for the history, tradition, and culture of diverse groups.

Our Mission

The Office of Diversity Programs takes great pride in providing students, faculty, staff, and the community at large with quality experiences through workshops, guest speakers, cultural celebrations and other resources to broaden their knowledge of diversity.

As a regional, state-supported institution of higher education, Saginaw Valley State University is committed to providing intellectual and cultural opportunities that enrich the lives of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as the lives of residents of the surrounding communities of Saginaw, Bay City and Midland Counties, together known as the Great Lakes Bay Region.

The University is committed to preparing its students to fill key positions in economic, political, cultural, and civic leadership in an increasingly pluralistic society, and recognizes that part of that preparation involves developing an understanding and appreciation of a wide variety of individuals and communities.  To that end, the University seeks to promote a diverse campus culture and to foster respect for the differences that make each individual unique.  And it is the mission of the Office of Diversity Programs that these University goals are implemented and achieved.

We will do this by creating and promoting learning opportunities at the University that focus on diversity, including training, education, and cultural events,  and that involve collaboration with individuals whose experiences, whether cultural, racial or religious, or whose orientation and perspectives may differ from one another.  Diversity strategies will include:

  • Providing development opportunities for current faculty and staff
  • Actively recruiting new employees who reflect the heterogeneity of the region, State and the world
  • Supporting academic programs, campus activities, and community outreach efforts which exemplify the breadth of human culture, art, and accomplishment
  • Developing appropriate assessment initiatives
  • Recruiting and retaining students whose background, experiences, and perspectives add to the free exchange of ideas in a democratic societies

Our History

The SVSU Board of Control first adopted a “Statement on Cultural Diversity” in 1991 and revisits it annually.

The Diversity Statement reads as follows:

"A goal of Saginaw Valley State University is to prepare the professional workforce and leadership for its primary service region and beyond.  The University is a portal of opportunity through which high school graduates, with potential to succeed, prepare themselves for more rewarding careers, more interesting lives and more effective service to others.  For these reasons, the University must undertake extraordinary efforts in the years ahead to serve students from diverse racial and ethnic communities.  It must also better prepare all of its students to work with, understand and appreciate the diversity of peoples and ideas that comprise and enrich American culture.

Such extraordinary efforts must focus on achieving a greater diversity among the faculty and staff as well as the student body and all other groups the University supports or serves.  This will require efforts to expand the pool of available candidates in hiring decisions, to provide genuine consideration for a greater variety of relevant experiences and credentials to achieve the University’s board goals.  It will require special recruitment and outreach efforts for culturally diverse students and the continued improvement of services to assist these students and promote their success. Beyond these efforts, the University must reaffirm its commitment to equality of opportunity by creating and nurturing, by leadership and example, an environment of genuine understanding and appreciation for differences among peoples.  While within the University there are and should be certain shared values, a diversity of ideas and perspectives must be encouraged.

The President of the University is directed, consistent with the University’s academic standards, to pursue aggressively the development and support of those programs and activities which will best accomplish these objectives."

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