Doug Christensen Selected for Diversity Role

Doug ChristensenFormer Nebraska Commissioner of Education Doug Christensen will undertake an additional role at Doane, guiding the college to increase diversity, inclusiveness and equity.

Christensen, a member of Doane's Master of Education in Educational Leadership program, was recently selected as Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusiveness. In that role, he will work with a broad cross section of the campus community to help find, retain and advance individuals who will enrich Doane's educational program -- specifically within the context of faculty, staff, student culture and achievement.

"We are hoping that Doug will be able to help guide our processes across the entire institution so as to encourage a greater appreciation and understanding of diversity in the broadest sense," said Doane President Jonathan Brand.

Christensen's role will be much broader than working to increase the percent of minority students on campus. He will act as a resource expert on effective diversity programs, training and professional development, recruitment, retention, and effective alignment of diversity strategies with both the college's strategic plan and co-curricular programs related to the student experience at Doane.

"Diversity is critical for colleges that have a liberal arts tradition and a mission to produce the leaders of our families, communities, states, nation and world. Living well in these times and in this global context demands we live inclusively, connecting and relating to others regardless of differences and variations such as age, gender, race, culture and abilities," Christensen said.

Christensen was selected for the job, Brand said, for his administrative experience, influence and passion for the issue.

"This is something he cares about."

Christensen is a nationally recognized expert on curriculum, leadership and school improvement. As the former commissioner of the Nebraska Department of Education, he led the policy-forming, planning and evaluative body for the state school program.

After retiring in 2008, he joined Doane's Master of Educational Program in Educational Leadership and will remain a faculty member working in the preparation of leaders at the building and district levels.

Christensen graduated from Midland Lutheran College and went on to earn master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After teaching and administrative roles at the high school and university level, he joined the Nebraska Department of Education as associate commissioner. He served as its commissioner from 1994 until 2008.

"This is an exciting time for Doane College and for all three campuses. It is an exciting and challenging venture to be more inclusive and the level to which we are able to become more inclusive will be the barometer of the strength and vitality of Doane College now and in the future," Christensen said.

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