University renews commitment to diversity, equity with new council 

  Thursday, September 17, 2020 12:00 PM
  News, Campus Culture

Pittsburg, KS

President and Deatrea

Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott believes it’s time to make a renewed commitment to ending social injustice and ensuring equity for all citizens. To that end, he has announced the formation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. 

“This is extremely important to our future. As a nation and a society, we have made little progress in assuring equity across all citizens. It's clearly time that we do more, and that we do better,” said Scott. “To that end, you will see the university elevating our efforts and our commitment.”

The new group will replace a group known as the University Diversity Council, and will have a much broader base of membership, broader responsibilities, and additional resources. It will be led by Deatrea Rose, director of Student Diversity Programs at PSU. 

“I am excited to be working with outstanding faculty, staff, and a student representative on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council,” Rose said. “I believe this council will be a critical driver in fostering real organizational change, and establishing a dedicated, meaningful, and sustainable focus on diversity at PSU.” 

Scott’s vision is for the group to build a plan to ensure Pittsburg State is a place in which everyone feels safe and are treated fairly and equitably. 

“There are so many ways we have unconscious bias,” Scott said. “To allow those to go unacknowledged makes it hard to move the needle on the issue and truly make a difference. Let’s figure out where we are, and then we can figure out where we need to go.” 

One of the group’s first tasks will be to complete a university-wide climate study for which a contract with a national consultant has been signed. 

Other activities will include 

  • to advise the President’s Council regarding specific actions and policy changes;  
  • to periodically assess the campus climate;  
  • to monitor the implementation of recommended actions; 
  • to encourage, endorse, and participate in the university’s educational programs that promote an increased understanding of equity and diversity; 
  • To develop a strategic plan that aligns with the university’s strategic plan and core values; 
  • to provide leadership in developing, coordinating, and promoting professional development programs for faculty and staff related to diversity issues;  
  • to advocate for resources to support campus diversity initiatives. 

“We have a moment in time in which we can make some progress, and that moment is now. It will take a lot of work, but I’m confident this group can do it,” Scott said. “We must, as a campus, find a way to be better and to do better together.” 

Members include: 

  • Ananda Jayawardhana, a member of the Tilford Group 
  • Phillip Harries, faculty in College of Arts & Sciences 
  • Linden Dalecki, faculty in Kelce College of Business 
  • Marcus Daczewitz, faculty in College of Education 
  • Cliff Morris, faculty in College of Technology 
  • Cydney Churchwell, student 
  • Kathleen Flannery, administration 
  • Eva Sager, Student Life 
  • Ashley Wadell, Student Success 
  • Mary Wolfe, University Support Staff 
  • Vince Daino, Campus Recreation 
  • Janet Lewis, PRISM advisor (People for Respect, Integrity, and Support Movement) LGBTQIA+ 
  • Stu Hite, University Police 
  • Kerri Hanson, Student Accommodations 
  • Jody Owens, Athletics 
  • Amanda Davied, Athletics 
  • Allison Ouellette, University Housing