President’s Advisory Council on Diversity Launches Input Phase

Baylor Spires
(Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
March 30, 2016

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275

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WACO, Texas (March 30, 2016) – The President’s Advisory Council on Diversity (PACD) has announced its timeline for facilitating an active campus-wide conversation regarding the University’s Christian commitment to diversity and communicating progress as it works over the coming months. The PACD held its initial meeting Feb. 23. Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr commissioned the Council to begin its work and re-outlined the PACD’s process for fully engaging the campus community in thoughtful and respectful dialogue on diversity.

The announcement of the PACD timeline is the latest result of dedicated efforts being taken by the administration, in concert with student representatives, faculty, staff and University leadership, to pursue efforts that celebrate, embrace and encourage diversity.

The Division of Student Life is also actively engaged with dedicated student leaders on a wide range of opportunities such as increasing multicultural programming and funding for minority student organizations and working across the University to integrate cultural competence and awareness.

“Our Christian mission calls us to prepare culturally competent leaders for service in a diverse and interconnected society. We are committed to providing our students a place where we celebrate the diverse heritage of our entire community; where guest lecturers, artists and speakers challenge us to embrace our unity in Christ; where opportunities for female and male faculty and staff of all backgrounds find a safe and supportive work environment where they may flourish; and where a committee such as this can hear the voices of students, faculty and staff and work together to help shape a future in which our diversity is our strength,” said Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr.

TIMELINE FOR THE COUNCIL’S WORK

The PACD’s timeline is based on the collaborative and inclusive model that fashioned Pro Futuris, the University’s strategic vision.

The Council has spent February and March determining its framework, reviewing existing materials and best practices, and meeting with leaders from other institutions regarding their journey toward a more diverse campus community.

In April and May, the PACD will begin soliciting input from groups and individuals all across campus, while continuing its research on best practices nationwide.

Over the summer, the Council will analyze the data gathered during the spring and identify emerging key ideas and themes.

Similar to the Pro Futuris model, in August, the PACD will provide the campus community with a preview of emerging key ideas and themes, followed this fall with a campus climate survey and additional opportunities to gather feedback and collect relevant information from the campus community.

Late in the fall semester through February 2017, the Council will analyze and synthesize the feedback and develop recommendations to be presented to the President and Executive Council.

“The Council looks forward to conducting a process through which every person who wants to share their views has the opportunity to be heard. We are committed to thoughtfully engaging our campus community, as well as national experts, in a dialogue guided by the Christian principles upon which this University was founded,” said PACD chair Lori Baker, Ph.D., who also serves as Faculty Regent, past chair of the Faculty Senate and associate professor of anthropology in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences. “This collaborative and active conversation will welcome the perspectives and insights of our students, faculty and staff, and will seek to identify a positive and strategic path toward the future for our University.”

In addition to Dr. Baker, members of the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity include:

• Juan Alejandro Jr., Ed.D., vice president of governance and risk and chief compliance officer

• Andy Arterbury, Ph.D., associate professor of Christian Scriptures, George W. Truett Theological Seminary

• Michael Beaty, Ph.D., chair and professor of philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences

• Pearson Brown, student body president, senior professional selling major, Houston, Texas

• Ronald L. English, academic support advisor for referrals, Paul L. Foster Success Center

• Cindy Fry, senior lecturer in computer science, School of Engineering and Computer Science

• Erin A. Gaddis, president of the NAACP Texas Youth and College Division, senior communications specialist major, Rowlett, Texas

• Dominque Hill, assistant director of intramural sports, Student Life

• Victor J. Hinojosa, Ph.D., associate professor of political science in the Honors Program, Honors College

• Tonya B. Lewis, assistant director of media communications, Division of Marketing and Communications

• Callie A. Schrank, assistant athletics director of personnel and administration, Department of Athletics

• Jonathan Siktberg, Student Regent, senior Baylor Business Fellow, Nashville, Tennessee

• Rishi Sriram, Ph.D., assistant professor and graduate program director in educational administration, School of Education

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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