Cabinet seeks Vice President for Access, Equity and Diversity
Doane College recognizes that diversity as a strategic goal is not only for enrolling larger numbers of Latino, African American, Asian, American Indian and other underrepresented student populations, but for helping them succeed. Diversity is an essential part of achieving and creating an environment of academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.
That belief is why Doane is seeking a difference-maker to join its cabinet for the new position of Vice President for Access, Equity and Diversity.
The ideal candidate will be a visionary and transformative leader who has demonstrated experience and influence in achieving positive change in an academic setting in the areas of access, equity and diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, globalization, community, economic development and educational and employment equity.
An in-depth internal review by college faculty and staff resulted in an action plan for equity and inclusiveness that has served to guide us in our actions. Among other things, the report recognized that increasing diversity was not only an opportunity to expand the reach of its education to underrepresented student groups but also a way to expand opportunity to first-generation college students.
The increased emphasis on diversity made it a natural progression for the college to establish a new position – someone who can lead with authority and impact from the highest levels of administration – in its cabinet. The new vice president will help make diversity a part of the college’s fabric.
Diversity is now a key pillar in Doane’s Strategic Plan, set forth by the college’s leadership and the Board of Trustees in May 2012. The mission and vision of the college, Doane College President Jacque Carter said, cannot be achieved without an increased commitment to diversity.
“The bottom line is this: The new VP position will strengthen, not weaken, our capacity to expand enrollment and increase diversity,” Dr. Carter said. “This is the moment to act.”
The new vice president will work closely with fellow cabinet members and other senior academic and administrative leadership in the further development and implementation of Doane’s Diversity Plan. Collaborating with departments at Crete’s School of Arts and Sciences as well as the School of Graduate and Professional Studies (with locations in Grand Island, Lincoln and Omaha) to identify opportunities and barriers to the college’s efforts to recruit and retain a diverse community of successful students, faculty and staff will be the position’s main objective.
Diversity is – and always has been – part of the college’s mission.
“Doane began in 1872 on the premise of providing a first-class education to first-generation students. In those times, they were the sons and daughters of immigrants and pioneers on the Great Plains,” Dr. Carter said. “ Today is no different, except the nature of diversity as reflected in race and culture has shifted from those earlier days when Czechs, Germans, Irish, Yankees and others were the dominant cultures. Today’s students remain people who are for the most part first-generation (college students). They also happen to be increasingly Latino, African-American, Asian and American Indian as well. Our new vice president will help us better recruit and retain this rising tide of first-generation, underrepresented student populations in Nebraska and beyond—just as the founders intended from the start.”