To start, finalists for our Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) will begin campus visits next week. The CDO directs our Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) and provides leadership for diversity, inclusion and cultural competency actions and initiatives. PSU launched our CDO search a few months ago to fill the position vacated in September 2014 by Jilma Meneses. Chas Lopez is currently serving as the interim CDO of GDI.
Chairing the search committee
I was delighted when President Wiewel asked me to chair the 14-member CDO search committee. Serving on a search committee is not an easy task, yet the experience has been gratifying. The committee was dedicated to finding candidates who would add value to our work. Our task was to recommend candidates to the President who we believe our campus colleagues would benefit from getting to know and evaluate.
During the next couple weeks, help us by meeting with CDO candidates and providing your feedback to President Wiewel in individual group meetings and scheduled open forums.
My service on the CDO committee highlighted the progress PSU has made in our diversity efforts over the past six years, and how much work we still have to do in inclusion and equity. We proudly shared our Diversity Action Plan and progress report with CDO candidates; the GDI website in six languages in addition to English (Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese); and the U Belong Campaign profiles.
Not the work of one, but the work of many
An article in this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education, “Making Diversity Not the Work of One Office, but a Campuswide Priority” is a reminder that diversity includes the participation of many.
The May 20 President’s Diversity Awards Celebration demonstrated that PSU is actively engaged with and enthusiastic about establishing and maintaining a campus-wide culture of diversity and inclusion. The celebration was held at the Native American Student & Community Center where we announced the 2015 Awards Recipients.
The ceremony was a time to also remember our dear colleague, Professor Charlotte Tsoi Goodluck, who passed away in December 2014. Charlotte’s contributions to PSU live on in so many ways, including a memorial scholarship in her name.
“Progress can be seen in student and faculty recruitment. More than 40 percent of PSU’s freshman class are students of color, and 26 percent of faculty and staff are people of color.”
More than 400 students have received the President’s Equal Access Scholarship since President Wiewel created the program in 2010.
Let us not forget the responsibility we share to create and foster a campus climate that reflects a range of people and ideas.