It is an honor and privilege to begin this new journey with you as the Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity & Equity and to work with you to create and sustain an inclusive living, learning and working environment for all of our community.
While I am excited about this new opportunity, I am also cognizant that I begin my role here during a very distressing time in our history. As our nation continues to contend with a deadly pandemic and the resultant depressed economic activity, we also must reckon with a second pandemic whose attributes are racism, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia and poverty.
Together, these two pandemics have created an environment of uncertainty about our commitment to inclusion as many old wounds and scars have resurfaced. Although there is an old adage that says, “time heals all wounds,” I am convinced that some wounds only heal with both the passage of time AND impactful action.
Each day I engage you in dialogue, I remain ever more encouraged that we are poised to make significant impactful action and long-lasting positive change. As vice chancellor of IDE, I will open the lines of communication and amplify underrepresented voices with the understanding that these dialogues must propel us toward substantive solutions.
To be successful as a leader at this institution, it is imperative that I am accountable to those whom I serve. My ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere in which every child in Missouri will aspire to be a Tiger with the confidence that this aspiration is an attainable and worthy goal.
Additionally, once those students arrive in Columbia, I am determined to make sure that they feel and know that they belong on our campus and in our community. I am committed to doing everything within my capacity as vice chancellor to bolster our collective efforts to create new avenues for insightful discourse and a renewed interest in deeper learning and cultural engagement. Along the way, I hope to celebrate many milestones with you, achieving measurable success in the areas where we need to grow the most.
As a starting point, I will prioritize these goals:
- enhancing the recruitment pipeline of underrepresented minority undergraduate and graduate students
- growing the strategic recruitment of faculty of color across all academic disciplines, with particular emphasis on retention and promotion of these faculty, and
- creating a culture of accountability that improves the climate in which we learn and work
I am happy to join the Tiger family and so proud to call Mizzou my home. We have a long road ahead of us, but I am confident we will get there if we walk together.
Maurice D. Gipson
Division of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity