Skip to Main Content

Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 

Full Commission

March 3, 2016 ~ 1:30 p.m.

President's Conference Room


Members Present

Edythe Abdullah, Nancy Broner, Lucy Croft, Alison Cruess, Mark Dawkins, Probyn Inniss, Glenda Kelsey, Daniel Moon, Oupa Seane, Tom Serwatka, John Whalen, Zhiping Yu

Members Absent


Christopher Brown, Luciana Carvalhal Braga, Hailey Guerra, Chris Janson, Tru Leverette, Sucheta Pyakuryal, JeffriAnne Wilder

Item 1 Welcome


Chair Abdullah welcomed commission members to the first meeting of the calendar year. She reported that progress had been made behind the scenes, placing the commission in good stead going forward.

Item 2 CODI Redesign


Chair Abdullah spoke about the recently redesigned commission, noting that the flow chart, available in the meeting materials, presented a new body that would collaborate across university divisions and colleges to advance campus diversity, equity and inclusion. She emphasized that Student Affairs was a central part of the commission. Additional discussion included information on how initiatives would move through to the executive staff.

Item 3 Presidential Diversity Award


Chair Abdullah reported that for 2016, there would be one Presidential Diversity Award honoring and individual. She stated that the award would focus on someone who had gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference within the university community. Chair Abdullah clarified that the nominee would receive notification of the award May 6, 2016.

Item 4 Website Revisions and Additions


Chair Abdullah presented the redesigned CODI website, noting that input from the commission was welcomed and encouraged. She noted that the commission intended that the site provide information to the entire campus community. Members provided some remarks but mentioned that others would be forthcoming, after further review.

Item 5 Cultural Competency Initiative in Student Affairs


Chair Abdullah asked Tarah Trueblood, director of the Interfaith Center, to speak about this item.

Ms. Trueblood stated that curriculum for the cultural competency initiative had been updated and the program was being facilitated by highly qualified leaders within Student Affairs. She noted that the initiative now had three years of experience and was getting ready to graduate two cohorts, up to 130 people. She shared that an initial impression of the program was a paradigm shift in the cultural climate within Student Affairs.

The group discussed a possible roll-out of the program across campus and suggested that all commission members should complete at least Cultural Competency Pursuit 101, which introduced the initiative’s main concepts.

Item 6 Adjournment


Chair Abdullah asked commission members for other comments. Vice President Serwatka asked the commission to consider scheduling at least one activity for students and one activity for the campus community for the 2016-2017 academic year, that would include those less likely to participate in diversity initiatives. He asked that the activities have a take-away that would show a solid university commitment to diversity, in all of its forms.

The commission agreed that these activities would be a great kickoff for the new and improved CODI. Chair Abdullah adjourned the meeting, noting that plans were to have a spring retreat. That information would be forthcoming.