TEMPE, Arizona | July 26, 2021
Sonoran is proud to announce the creation of the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Belonging and position of Vice President of Inclusive Excellence (VPIE) marking a pivotal point in the College’s history.
Reporting to the President, the VPIE will be a member of the Executive Council, the institution’s senior leadership and decision-making body, and serve the full spectrum of community members, including faculty and staff, students, clinicians, alumni and patients. Executive Council is committed to collaborating with the VPIE to infuse Inclusive Excellence throughout the Sonoran experience.
Since 2007, Sonoran has made efforts to increase representation in its board, faculty, and student populations and hiring and recruiting practices, including crafting its first formal diversity policy. In 2020, Sonoran’s President, Dr. Paul Mittman, spoke with alumni of color and, “Realized that our diversity goals lacked dimensionality,” said Dr. Mittman. “I saw that we had to face uncomfortable truths. I knew that a holistic approach was necessary, not only in how we practice medicine but in how we approach diversity and belonging. So, we began a period of exploration, introspection, and data collection. That work has informed the creation of this position as well as a more rich and holistic approach to transforming our institution.”
The College engaged in an independent campus climate survey with the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium, and 14 focus groups facilitated by Arizona State University’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. President Mittman then convened a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force to evaluate and synthesize these results and make recommendations to weave inclusive excellence into the 2022-2027 strategic plan. The inclusive excellence goals will touch on areas including education, communication, conflict resolution, curriculum, training, community building, supporting students, hiring practices, admissions/recruitment strategies, clinical protocols and more.
For more information, www.sonoran.edu/about-scnm/dei/.
About Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences
Sonoran is a school of medicine and health sciences grounded in naturopathic principles. Dedicated to the ideal that everyone deserves high-quality healthcare, we engage students in rigorous, innovative academic programs, discover and expand knowledge, and empower individuals and communities to achieve optimal health. Our vision is a world that embraces the healing power of nature. For more information, visit sonoran.edu.