Siena strives to embody the vision and values of St. Francis of Assisi, including his commitment to building a more just, peaceful, and humane world. We must recommit to strengthening the bonds of racial justice to fulfill that mission and ensure people of color in our community feel safe, accepted, appreciated and affirmed. This effort starts with education and conversation. It requires action. The College has established 11 action lines and will provide the most recent updates on each below. Previous actions can be found here. 

Student Recruitment

Action Item #1 - Study application requirements to ensure no one requirement has an  unfair advantage or disadvantage to a specific group of students based on race,  income, ethnicity and school resource. 

Metric of Success #1: Increase application complete rate 

Fall 2023 Updates: 

- Increase in diverse student apps - 38% vs. 34%  

- 59% of our diverse applications are complete vs. 57% this time last year. - Created an efficient process for school counselors to submit counselor letters of  rec. 

- Enhanced communication to the school counselor from Siena to allow them to  complete a student's application in a timely manner. 

Metric of Success #2: Ensure equity in admissions process as measured by accept rate Fall 2023 Updates: 

- Based on the 2023 Supreme Court ruling, we are unable to use race in  admissions decisions. Therefore we are refocusing our efforts on bullet one. 

Action Item #2 - Testing the effectiveness of Spanish speaking marketing campaigns  during the fall Open House communication plan. 

Metric of Success: Increase in Hispanic students attending Open House Fall 2023 Updates: 

- 57% increase in Hispanic students at this year's October Open House. 

Action Item #3 - Continue to host high school group visits for schools with high  diversity. The visit will include an admissions information session followed by a tour of  campus. 

Metric of Success: Increase in applications from the students that attend these visits. Fall 2023 Updates: 

- Admissions is still in the process of hosting high school groups this fall. As the  application season continues, we will have application numbers from these  schools for you. 

Action Item # 4- Continue with personal outreach to all admitted, diverse students.  

Metric of Success: Increase in email responses to George Christian email, tracked  through Slate interactions of diverse admitted students. 

Fall 2023 Updates: 

- First email from George went on 10/29 - 228 sent with a 74% open rate. Each student response will get a personal follow up from George.

Student Experience & retention

The Strategic Plan includes 37 initiatives that are designed to improve the student experience within academic areas, all of which will benefit students across all demographic groups and,  arguably most benefit those students who need additional attention. These are all at some  stage of planning or implementation. A list of these is available from Provost Madden upon request. 

The Student Retention and Success Committee has made comprehensive recommendations on how to assure that students in all diversity categories are retained and graduate at the same  rate, which was presented to PACDI in our meeting last fall. They have completed a number of  actions: Academic probation was renamed as academic notice; student retention software has  been identified; review of policies and processes to ensure that they promote equity in student outcomes has begun; procedure to allow students with financial holds to register for classes has been created; an emergency aid fund has been established to assist students with need to pay for tuition and fees; and a new electronic withdrawal form process has been designed to work  with students to address reasons they wish to withdraw. SRSC is continuing to work on these  and other recommendations from their report. 

Equity in student outcomes: All students are retained at graduate at the same rate  regardless of demographic profile.

Action Owners Due Date
Submit report on barriers to experiential learning to  Provost (follow-up actions TBD based on findings) Braddock and Pepe Report completed and follow up underway
Launch of electronic withdrawal form that will route  financial issues to the Financial Aid Office Braddock Electronic form is now in use
Develop a detailed plan for a hybrid advising model with  professional advisors for first year students Costello and Braddock Report completed and under review
Finalize policy review framework and implementation plan Braddock and SRSC October 21, 2023
Develop a detailed plan for a pilot summer bridge  program for first generation students to launch in  Summer 2024. The plan will align with bridge program  recommendations from the Student Retention and  Success Committee Cheverton and Braddock December 15, 2023

Faculty Recruitment

Based on recommendations from a faculty task force to revise, the Faculty Hiring Guide has  been updated generally and infuses DEI recommendations throughout the faculty hiring process  to obtain diverse candidates. The plan addresses each stage of the hiring process from  advertisement through acceptance of offers of employment The Guide is being used in  searches for full-time faculty who will join us in fall 2024.  

In addition, workshop is planned for mid-November for all search committee chairs and faculty  members. A consultant will discuss Inclusive Search Processes: Culture Add vs. Culture Fit  Recruitment.  


1. Employ the revised Faculty Hiring Guide. (L. Fay) - completed 

a. Metric: In use right now, will be adjusted based on experience with it this year

2. Offer some training for search committees regarding DEI matters. - completed

a. Milestone: Contract outside group to do an in-person training in November of this  year - completed 

b. Milestone: Offer online training once Cornerstone is available, likely requiring  modules 

3. Seek funding to staff the proposed Faculty Hiring Advisory Committee. (M. Madden)

a. Metric: Prepare budget request 

Education and Training - Faculty

The ¼ time position of Faculty Development Coordinator was created and Dr. Marcela Garcés  is serving in that role. She is implementing recommendations made by a faculty task force focusing on professional development for faculty on DEI instructional issues, such as pedagogy  curriculum, inclusive teaching practices, and recruitment of diverse students. She has reviewed  programming in recent years to assess what we have been doing. She has created and started  meeting with an Advisory Committee with representatives from involved areas to assist in  identifying gaps and suggesting new programming. The scope of the subsequent coordinating  work will depend on whether additional resources are obtained to expand the time commitment  of the coordinator.  

This fall’s programs have included:  

• Universal Design (two workshops) 

• Dialog Across Differences: Community Engagement and Divers Practices • Managing Hard Topics: Towards a Culturally Responsive Classroom 

• Diversity Grants Panel: Presentations on activities from the department diversity grants


1. Work with Faculty Development Advisory Committee to continue to identify gaps in  training and develop a systematic DEI training schedule. (M. Madden) 

a. Metric identified: Gaps are identified and schedule is updated - Ongoing 

Education and Training - Administration

#1 - Host an annual DEI workshop for staff and administrators. This year's day of practice will be held on Thursday, October 12 with Kyle Williams from A Long Talk. (I've got a meeting with the COA Exec. Committee next week to plan and then I'll reach out to Kyle to start discussing specifics/logistics.) Metrics: 125 staff/admin. participate in the 2023 training; on the post-work shop assessment, 90% of respondents will indicate the workshop was either "valuable" or "very valuable." 

Fall 2023 Updates: 

The COAS hosted, as planned, the diversity education event on October 12 with Kyle Williams  from A Long Talk. More than 150 community members registered for the session. With cancellations, participation was almost exactly 125 (one of the metrics provided for this action).  The second metric called for at least 90% of respondents (to a post-event assessment) to find  the session to be either “valuable” or “very valuable.”  

Forty-nine community members completed the assessment. Of the respondents, 96% agreed or  strongly agreed with the statement: “The CPR Protocol presented in the session will help me  engage in difficult discussions about racism.” Of the respondents, 96% agreed or strongly  agreed with the statement: “As a result of this session, I am motivated to explore relevant ideas  and concepts related to cultivating an anti racist culture among staff colleagues.” Of the  respondents, 94% agreed or strongly agreed with this statement: “As a result of this session, I am more aware of ways that I can be intentional about my activism in the spaces I occupy.” 

#2 Explore making this training/education mandatory. One possibility is that anyone who attends  the workshop is exempt from taking an online skillport diversity training. For those who don't  attend, they would be required (this is to avoid the problem where the people who need to hear  the message the most are the ones who don't show up). Metric – Will present a plan to the  Cabinet in the Fall and act on feedback. 

Fall 2023 Updates: 

This idea was presented to at a meeting of the President’s cabinet. It was decided not to require  diversity training, but to instead encourage all community members to atend and to lean into  the value of these sessions. President Seifert asked the members of his cabinet to promote the  diversity education event within their areas and encourage atendance. 

Curriculum Reform

To date, 10 departments have received small grants to develop curriculum and recruit and  support diverse students in their majors. Six departments have completed their projects and two  that were awarded in fall 2022 (Physics and Healthcare Professions) are implementing in fall  2023. New grants have been awarded to Biology and Economics for projects over the next two  semesters. Faculty from the departments that received grants earlier gave presentations on  their projects in early November, as many of the projects can be duplicated in other disciplines.  The new Core Curriculum Director, Dr. Darren Lim, is working on implementing a review of the  Franciscan Concern categories to develop a process to assure they meet the intended learning  outcomes. A full assessment of outcomes in the Diversity category is in process.  

Standish Library Director Vicki Parsons engaged a consultant to do a DEI inventory of library  resources and the Library is systematically expanding resources in areas where needed to  provide library resources to fully support student access to contemporary material on DEI  issues.  


1. Provide funding for departmental DEI projects already underway. (M. Madden) –  completed – two new grants awarded 

2. Send out a call for new departmental grants in fall 2023 and support as many as  available funds permit. (M. Madden) - completed 

3. Continue the process of reviewing the Franciscan Concern Diversity courses for  alignment with CFD learning outcomes. (D. Lim) - ongoing 

Damietta Cross-Cultural Center

Action #1: Increase attendance from various demographic groups at Damietta-sponsored  diversity-related events and programs (G. Camacho) 

Metric: There will be an annual increase in the number of students attending Damietta sponsored diversity-related events by June 2024 and will represent various diverse groups. 

Updated Action #2: Damietta will be committing more energy to increasing its social media  footprint; broadening its audience in number and scope so that more students will be aware of  and attend events hosted by the Center. 

Metric: Expand from 500 to 1000 followers on Instagram by the end of the academic year. 

Action #2: Expand Unity Day into event that involves broader community and fully celebrates  the diversity that strengthens the Siena experience (G. Christian) 

Fall 2023 Update: George Christian has preliminary discussions with the Black Student Union in  consultation with the Latinx Student association to plan a Unity Day spring event. A date will be  finalized soon and planning will continue for a more inclusive, student-centered event. The  Black Student Union is also working on developing Black History Month campus programming.  

Action #3: Juneteenth recognized as official College holiday (C. Seifert). Campus  recognition/celebration event continues (G. Christian) 

Fall 2023 President Seifert officially announced that Juneteenth will be recognized as a College  holiday. The College will look to continue a celebration/recognition as part of Unity Day while  students are on campus as well as a community event near Juneteenth. 

Supporting Our Vision

In August of 2023, Siena College was awarded $40,000 from Boeing for the Boeing Women in  Leadership Initiative. This grant provides funding for a scholarship for a female student who  enrolls in the School of Business (fall 2024), funding to bring a high profile woman leader in her  field to speak at Siena, and funding to encourage female student participation in the Spark Tank  entrepreneurship competition.  

In July, Siena College received an invitation to submit a full application to the Mother Cabrini  Health Foundation to develop the healthcare worker/nursing pipeline ($320,000). Included in  this proposal is a K-12 healthcare workforce recruitment program which focuses on schools in  underserved populations. This is a request to support a program spearheaded by Admissions  that will increase college access and equity for underrepresented students, as well as  strengthen the funnel of future healthcare workers. The goal is to break down information and  communication barriers to ensure that every student has the opportunity to pursue higher  education and a healthcare career. Our enrollment team has used its resources for years on  initiatives to increase access to higher education, but require additional funding to scale these  programs and make a greater impact. The program begins in elementary school with a  storybook featuring Baloo and in person/hands on presentations talking about the different  careers/jobs in healthcare, continues to middle school which begins to introduce the skills  required for a career in healthcare and then to high school to assist in college application  preparation. This program is aimed primarily at schools in underserved communities where  there is not a strong guidance counseling and/or career preparation infrastructure. The MHCF  application also includes funding for nursing scholarships for students from underserved  populations. Award announcements are expected in December.  

On August 15th, an application was submitted to the Wright Family Foundation of Schenectady  for support for nursing scholarships for individuals (priority given to residents of Schenectady  County) from underrepresented communities who demonstrate financial need. Award  announcements are expected in December.

Meeting Outcomes:

-The faculty area will focus on collecting better data about faculty who have left the college, and conducting exit interviews to help inform how better to recruit and retain.

-Identifying opportunities for the student affinity groups (BSU, LSA, GSA, MSA, etc.) to partner with Student Activities & Leadership Development on collaborative, larger-scale programming for diversity and cultural issues.

-Student representatives will also meet with the Retention committee to share the work they have been doing and consult for feedback. This was done last year, but would be a good opportunity to get student input again. 

-The Committee will look to eliminate redundancies, for example, training that all community groups can attend, instead of seperate training for staff, administrators, faculty and students.  

-Look to restructure PACDI meetings to have more frequent meetings on specific focused topics.