Dr. Maurice Scherrens, president of Newberry College, announced Friday the appointment of the President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusivity. The task force is designed to bring together campus leaders to ensure that equity and inclusivity remain key focuses for the college.
“Last week, I wrote to you about being transformational leaders in our community; specifically, advancing diversity and inclusivity across our campus, and creating opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to engage in meaningful dialogue on issues surrounding racism, violence and hatred,” said Scherrens. “Now is the time to put actions behind our words.”
The task force will build on the initial work of the diversity and inclusivity strategic planning team to address four competencies identified by the National Association for Campus Activities: Knowledge and Practice, Culture, Engagement and Composition, and Advocacy and Social Justice.
Solutions already discussed include reviewing the institution’s core curriculum to ensure deep and meaningful learning opportunities for students, strengthening Dufford Diversity and Inclusion Week, held annually in the fall, and providing professional development on equity, inclusion and justice. This would involve an enhanced culture of communication, expanded campus resources, and coordinated training with campus security and city and county law enforcement.
The task force will be co-chaired by Dean of Students Sandra Rouse and Dr. Sid Parrish, vice president for academic affairs. They will be joined by a select team of faculty and staff members from multiple areas of campus, along with student and alumni representatives.
“Through their efforts, Newberry College will reaffirm that the pursuit of academic achievement interacts with a commitment to diversity and inclusivity, and that embracing inclusivity can transform our campus into a more compassionate and effective learning environment,” said Scherrens.