Welcome to the first edition of a new faculty/staff monthly e-newsletter, Identity: Valuing Our Diversity. This publication will feature profiles of faculty teaching, research and service, the service and initiatives of our support staff and news of university programs and events that center on race, ethnicity and the LGBTQA community. Also included will be issues pertaining to the concerns of those with special needs and other underrepresented groups.

Why is this e-newsletter titled Identity, and why is it being published now? You may remember that during my 2008 State of the University address, I announced the formation of two committees, one to expand initiatives and explore new ways to recruit and retain students from diverse populations; and the other to examine the campus climate and suggest ways to improve Illinois State’s already welcoming campus environment. Both committees did excellent work, and many of their recommendations are currently being put into place.

Identity is the product of one such recommendation. The committee that studied campus climate issues serves as the newsletter’s editorial board, and they selected the publication’s title and design.

They will also meet periodically to determine the content of each issue, and that is where they need your help. I encourage you to become an engaged participant in Identity by submitting ideas for feature stories, events and other items that help Illinois State reflect its core value of Diversity.

Your readership and contributions will help make Identity another successful example of diversity and shared governance throughout the University community.