I am pleased to share some important updates from the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE). Our realignment process is underway, and we have begun to implement positive changes in IDE.
These exciting changes include more staff and resources to help our students succeed in and out of the classroom, and greater collaboration with campus and community partners. We will foster a supportive environment for students to discuss success barriers and help them develop goal-setting skills and learning strategies.
During the 2020-21 academic year, I assessed the division through evaluations, stakeholder feedback and peer-to-peer institutional comparisons and determined that we had to reimagine the division. In the past six months, I have met with numerous student leaders, student organizations, the Faculty Council, the Council on Inclusive Excellence, the IDE staff and many others to provide updates on these changes.
This reimagination is a three-phased approach. We are currently in phase one, which includes the following changes:
- The Office of Inclusive Engagement is now the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Strategic Initiatives. This unit is responsible for internal and external outreach, community engagement, training and professional development and inclusive excellence strategic planning.
- The Office of Institutional Equity will encompass the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX, the Office of Accessibility and ADA and Affirmative Action/EEOC.
- The Office of Access and Leadership Development (ALD) is currently undergoing realignment and is now home to the Missouri College Advising Corps (MCAC), the Mizzou Black Women’s Initiative (MBWI) and the Mizzou Black Men’s Initiative (MBMI).
- The Department of Social Justice is now part of the Office of Student Diversity and Academic Initiatives (SDAI), an umbrella unit that will invest in more resources to enhance and improve student support and success measures. I am also happy to share that we have hired five new staff members for this office, and each of them are excited to support and interact with our students.
Ultimately, phase three is our goal: to become the premier institution for diversity best practices. To accomplish this, we must always be innovative in our solutions.
I encourage you to visit the newly established updates page on the IDE website to learn more. I also want to reiterate that I have an open-door policy. I always welcome feedback, discussion and insight at any point. Schedule time by calling my office at 573-882-3394. Additionally, I will be hosting several open office hours during the semester. Check the IDE website to schedule your time. Lastly, we have hosted several open houses to showcase our units and their incredible work. We hope that if you have not attended one yet, that you will stop by in the near future.
A notable African proverb states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” With that said, I believe in the collaborative and dynamic nature of our campus community. Thank you for supporting us with our goals in the last year and a half. Without your encouragement and input, we would not be a better and stronger division today. I look forward to the continued progress of IDE at Mizzou.
Maurice D. Gipson, JD, PhD
Vice Chancellor, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity
University of Missouri