Doane unveils new Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion ribbon cutting

Doane University is excited to formally announce the formation of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

 

In Doane’s 147-year history, this marks the first time the university has had a Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This marks a significant step forward in Doane’s commitment to fostering a community where diversity, equity and inclusion are considered mission-imperative areas.

 

Luis Sotelo, Vice President for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, joined Doane University as a Chief Diversity Officer in February 2017. Since then, Sotelo has advanced Doane’s commitment to inclusive excellence by establishing an evidence-based diversity, equity and inclusion framework that guides the system infrastructure, initiatives, resources, and engagement with community organizations. Through these community connections, Sotelo has been developing an understanding of their needs and interests and how the university can be of greater collaborative assistance. 

The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion also allows Doane to have a more unified structure and accelerate programs in delivering equity outcomes for students, faculty, staff, and the community. Doane’s Multicultural Support Services, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Veteran/Military Student Services, CAPE (Campus Advocacy, Prevention, and Education) Project, and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist will be housed in this division. 

While some of these offices have historically focused their work on Doane’s Crete campus, under the new division, their work will expand to more frequently serve students, faculty, and staff at Doane’s campuses in Lincoln, Omaha, and Grand Island and increase their impact on university systems and strategies. 

“The divisional model allows us to noticeably accelerate our impact on people’s lives by modernizing and professionalizing Doane University’s capacity to strengthen inclusive excellence,” Sotelo says. “I’m truly excited about the transformation ahead at Doane with this level of commitment for diversity, equity and inclusion.” 

The new Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was commemorated with ribbon cuttings at Doane’s Lincoln and Crete campuses on Wednesday, October 9 and Thursday, October 10.

 

In addition to Sotelo, a few Doane faculty and staff members spoke to the crowd gathered and one student, Allison Jasso ’21, also spoke. Jaso was recently named Doane Student Congress’ October Leader of the Month.

 

“In every role I have here at Doane, diversity, equity and inclusion are extremely important,” Jaso said. “The more we reach out to diverse populations, the more we include people, and the more we strive for equity for all, the closer we get to achieving Doane’s mission.”

 

Jake Elswick, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Experience at Doane, also addressed the Doane community present at the ribbon cutting.

 

“It’s our goal to take the framework of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and make it a core piece of what we do everyday,” Elswick said. “If we can inject this work into our recruitment, enrollment, and retention, when students come to this university they can be their whole selves. They can live in an environment that supports them and is inclusive of their identities. That’s going to be our legacy.”