MU faculty opinionated about potential school leader focused on diversity

2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 6:58:00 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
By: Zola Crowder, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - On Tuesday night the search committee to find the new Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity held a public forum on the University of Missouri campus. Faculty and staff weighed their opinions on the level of experience they want to see in the candidates. 

College of Arts and Science Dean Pat Okker said she hopes the new leader will help recruit diversity on campus.

"The emphasis on making sure that our campus is welcoming to all faculty, staff, students, alumni and visitors," she said.

Several MU faculty members spoke about the most important characteristics they want this new Vice Chancellor to have.

Dr. William Robertson said he is concerned that university students are not getting the kind of support they need from faculty and administrators.  

"The environment has not changed for African American students since I arrived," he said. "The distribution of resources power and authority still lies in the hands of Caucasian men."

Several other faculty members that spoke believe the new person needs to have power, but also have patience. 

Assistant professor, Elisa Glick, said 2015 is important to remember, but the most important factor for her is not focusing on the past. 

"We need to find someone that is future-oriented, it's essential that the person in this position has a clear vision for where we are going and help us get there." 

Assistant professor, Michael Steven Williams, said this forum gave him the opportunity to share with the search committee who he wants to see hold this position.

"I want someone who sees that every single person at the university is important to the mission of inclusion," Williams said. "Everyone needs to be involved in the larger mission so this person needs to invest and take pride in this."

The search committee is planning more public forums to discuss the community's concerns. The plan is to have a new Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity sworn in by the spring semester. 

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