Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Institutional Coordinating Council for Thriving, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (ICC)?

The ICC is dedicated to aligning and coordinating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts across campus, providing thought partnership to units and senior leadership, and advancing anti-racism at the University of Richmond. The ICC shapes and sharpens the institution's focus on the systemic change needed for achieving our long-term vision: an engaged and self-reflective institution in which members of all groups that have been historically restrained, excluded, or oppressed are fully included, belong, and thrive.

Who is on the ICC? 

The ICC is a web of approximately fifteen faculty, staff, and student leaders, who together bring a depth and breadth of expertise in DEI, familiarity with institutional processes, and broad representation from across the University.   

Who leads the ICC?

The ICC is convened by the senior administrative officer for Equity & Community (SAO) and is co-chaired by the director of institutional equity and inclusion and a tenured faculty member.

How did the ICC come about?

The ICC was established in response to the University’s participation in the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Institute on Inclusivity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts in June 2018. Based on valuable insights gained through the Institute, the UR-CIC team identified the need for University-wide coordination to connect and align DEI initiatives. To meet this need, the UR-CIC team proposed a pilot council composed of faculty and staff – the ICC – to identify promising connections and activities, as well as gaps, to advance the University’s goal to create a thriving community for all.

In August 2018, President Ronald A. Crutcher formed and charged the Interim Coordinating Council for Thriving, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity to initiate strategic and constructive connections among the many initiatives, committees, programs, and offices working to make the University of Richmond a place where all “students, faculty, and staff can reach their full potential and thrive in an inclusive University community.”

After a year of work, this Interim Coordinating Council made three recommendations that would enable the coordination of DEI efforts and practices and increase institutional coherency, urgency, and accountability.  

  1. Charge University leaders to engage DEI challenges through concrete, coordinated, unit-level plans.
  2. Create and fill a cabinet position for DEI and institutional strategy.
  3. Create a permanent Institutional Coordinating Council for TIDE.

Numerous sources affirm that comprehensive, multi-dimensional, or ecosystem approaches are more transformative and effective than even the “best” of practices pursued in isolation; no single stakeholder can enact DEI efforts. Thus, the ICC recommended this multi-dimensional approach as opposed to the single-dimension approach taken by many organizations to create a Chief Diversity Officer or high-profile committee.

Why is the ICC a council as opposed to a committee?  

A council is a group of people or experts in their respective fields who come together to shed light on a common objective. In the case of the ICC, members have expertise and experience with DEI-related issues. Through deliberation and consultation, the ICC works to build and leverage their collective knowledge over time in order to serve as a resource and thought partner to senior leaders and other University units to ensure alignment to help advance UR's DEI goals. In contrast, committees are usually assembled in order to discuss or address specific matters that can be addressed in relatively short timeframes. The Institutional Coordinating Council does organize its members into smaller committees that have specific short-term tasks: currently, those committees are Engagement & Outreach, Sustaining the ICC, Guiding Principles, and Assessment.

What work has the ICC done?  

The ICC has met with hundreds of staff and faculty to support units in identifying their DEI goals and weaving them into the fabric of their work. For example, members of the ICC met with the General Education Committee to share ideas for DEI in the curriculum and provided feedback on Human Resources’ affinity group program, University Museums' new TIDE intercultural program grounded in the arts, and University Communications' inclusive style guide. The ICC has also offered guidance for our campus community, including TIDE Principles for COVID-19 Pandemic Planning and Guiding Principles for DEI Work on Campus.

How are ICC members chosen?  

ICC members are chosen based on a combination of factors, including their campus influence and role, TIDE expertise and experience, and ability to represent the breadth of campus life. ICC members make recommendations about prospective members, and the SAO and co-chairs make final decisions on membership.

How does the ICC's work connect with other DEI efforts across campus?

One way that the University is taking DEI work seriously is in its recognition that such work is complicated. Acknowledging this involves recognizing that there are different types of institution-wide DEI work, with different groups and people responsible for doing or leading that work. The responsibility for and ongoing attention to the University’s DEI work is shared among members of the University Leadership, the ICC, and many others on campus who are committed to the ongoing work of making the University of Richmond an equitable, inclusive community. The following groups are responsible for responding to and providing support during DEI-related campus crises:

The Bias Resource Team
The Threat Assessment Team
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Center for Awareness, Response, and Education (CARE)
University of Richmond Police Department
Richmond College Dean
Westhampton College Dean

How do I contact the ICC?

To contact the ICC, please reach out to one or both of the co-chairs (pherrera@richmond.edu or ghughes@richmond.edu) or any ICC member