Our Commitment to a Healthy, Inclusive, and Safe Campus Culture
Today, Acting President Eric Denna shared the following letter with the Southern Virginia University community.
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
As we close this spring semester, I want to reaffirm our commitment to building a healthy, inclusive, and safe campus culture at Southern Virginia University.
While we have made some strides this past semester in addressing these important issues, we acknowledge that our work in this area is not yet done. Building an intentional culture of psychological safety with inclusion, learner, contributor, and challenger safety for all will take time—much more than a single semester—and require consistent, concerted efforts from all.
We are committed to the work ahead and invite everyone to join us as fellow cultural architects engaged in the work of building a campus culture full of inclusion, kindness, and unity. For this university to thrive, we must continue to develop a safe campus for all students, faculty, and staff consistent with the Lord’s command to love one another as the Savior admonished his disciples (John 13:34).
To that end, as you know, we welcomed Dr. Tim Clark to campus to speak with a variety of groups across campus and share data about the current state of psychological safety. After further consultation with Tim, I have asked Director of Human Resources Adam Whipple to take the lead with Tim’s company, LeaderFactor, in developing a plan of specific actions we can undertake this coming academic year to increase psychological safety among our university community. In addition, I call your attention to resources listed at the end of this statement.
With all this in mind, during the semester we have received feedback indicating we can improve. I am grateful for the feedback from multiple sources and hope members of our university community always feel safe to speak up. Based on the information provided, and with the unanimous support of the President’s Leadership Council, I have appointed an ad hoc committee of five highly trusted individuals that represent multiple campus constituencies and a diversity of cultural perspectives.
The goal of the committee is to review the policies, procedures, and supervision of all clubs and associations to determine whether changes in policies and their implementation can be improved. I will report back to the university community once we have identified needed changes to our policies and practices. I have not put a specific time constraint on the committee as I want them to be able to be as thorough as necessary. However, I expect to be able to report back to you their findings and recommendations before fall semester begins.
Dr. Eric Denna, Acting President
Southern Virginia University
- Campus Security. A member of the campus security team is on duty at all times. For safety concerns, contact campus security at 540-261-4911. In the case of an emergency, please call 911. Main Hall B1 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Title IX Office. Supports students who have experienced or are currently experiencing any sort of discrimination, harassment, or are the victim of sexual violence on the basis of their sex/gender. 540-261-4090 | titleIX@svu.edu
- Counseling Center. Provides brief model therapy mental health services in person or virtually to current students free of charge. In the case of a mental health emergency, call 911 or immediately visit the Emergency Room at Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital. For free 24/7 nationwide suicide and emotional crisis support for yourself or a loved one, call or text 988. Main Hall 234 | 540-261-8474 | email@example.com
- Human Resources. Employees’ primary resource for support regarding employee relations, compensation and benefits, training and development, and health resources. Main Hall 116 | 540-460-2010 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Recent Steps to Address Psychological Safety
- Invited Dr. Tim Clark, author of the Four Stages of Psychological Safety and CEO of LeaderFactor, to speak about psychological safety at a university-wide forum; during his campus visit, Dr. Clark also met and consulted with student and university leaders, as well as faculty and staff about increasing our organization’s psychological safety.
- Partnered with Dr. Clark’s company, LeaderFactor, to conduct an anonymous campus-wide survey to measure our organization’s current state of psychological safety; these results will serve as a baseline against which we can measure future our progress.
- Restructured leadership to enable inclusion, learner, contributor, and challenger safety.
- Encouraged all managers to make a concerted effort to master and model the principles of psychological safety by modeling and rewarding acts of vulnerability.