Volume 80 | Issue 6
November 2012

Progress on Becoming a Multicultural Organization: ACUI Leadership Team Commits to Action

Nearly two years have passed since the Association launched its current strategic plan. The document is revisited regularly by members of the Board of Trustees, Leadership Team, and Central Office staff to monitor achievement of goals and objectives, revise or remove items that are no longer relevant, and add items that have been identified as critical to the ongoing growth and development of the organization.

In 2012, particular focus was given to Strategic Direction 3, which states: “ACUI will be recognized by our members as a multicultural organization, which it defines as ‘one which is genuinely committed to a diverse representation of its membership; is sensitive to maintaining an open, supportive, and responsive environment; is working toward and purposefully including elements of diverse cultures in its ongoing operations; and … is authentic in its responses to issues confronting it.’”

A review of data collected from two surveys distributed to ACUI members and published in The Bulletin in 2011 served as a catalyst for this year’s initiatives to improve efforts outlined in this section of the plan. In the past year, the following steps have been taken:
In July, the Board of Trustees voted to modify the Association’s core values, replacing “communication” with “diversity.” This change was based on the rationale that communication is already considered a core competency and the importance of this attribute would not be diminished by this change. The revised list (not in priority order) now reads:

  • Unconditional human worth
  • Joy
  • Caring community
  • Innovation
  • Diversity
  • Integrity

The regional directors plan to develop a Regional Leadership Team position devoted to the exploration and application of diversity and inclusion within the Association.

The Education Council has agreed to take the lead in providing educational offerings on Intercultural Proficiency. Specifically, the group created an Intercultural Proficiency training module and a case study package offered at regional conferences and soon to be available online. September also featured an emphasis on Intercultural Proficiency as part of the Education Council’s educational efforts using social media.

The Volunteer Develop Team has committed to increase efforts to actively recruit diverse candidates for volunteer and leadership positions at every level of the Association. Additionally, this group will continue to assess the Association’s membership to better understand the demographics of our volunteer base and allow for ongoing discussions about diversity and inclusion.

The Student Programs Team plans to assess how each student program provides diverse experiences for students within the Association and build upon the success of the poetry slam program in reaching diverse populations. 

Finally, further short-term volunteer projects are being considered to move the Association forward in the areas of education and representation.

These goals have been added to the matrix that is being used to track the status of objectives included in the strategic plan. Updates and additional information will be shared with the membership through The Bulletin, The Commons, and the ACUI website.

To view the Association’s strategic plan, visit the Governing and Strategic Documents page of the ACUI website ( 

Questions about ACUI’s projects related to diversity and inclusivity can be directed to Susan Payment, at-large member of the Board of Trustees, at