President Larry Dietz has appointed a task force to address the Campus Climate Assessment Report for Illinois State University. The 27-member committee gathers faculty, staff members, and students from across campus with the aim of making recommendations based on the diversity and inclusion report.

“The task force will address findings and recommendations from the Assessment and make short-term and long-term recommendations,” Dietz said. “We won’t be able to do everything in the report right away, but I want to find initiatives we can move on as soon as possible.”

Members of the Climate Task Force

Members of the Climate Assessment Task Force meet before the start of the Fall 2016 semester.

The independent report, commissioned by the University in 2015, was conducted by the Center for Race and Equity in Education and released in late April of this year. The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs spearheaded the effort.

“There is a power that comes from bringing individuals together who have a passion and commitment for creating new and evolving levels of diversity,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Levester Johnson, who has worked extensively with diversity efforts over his career, including helping to establish a diversity center and diversity lecture series at Butler University. “I’ve served on commissions and task forces for diversity in the past, and I am wholly impressed by the wealth of knowledge this group has—not only for the many great things this University has already accomplished—but the excitement of what we can do in the days ahead.”

Committee members, who were appointed in July, will serve until May of 2017. The goal of the committee is to deliver recommendations to the sponsoring leadership in 2017. Over the course of the academic year, the task force will explore the current ways Illinois State expresses its core value of diversity.

“We realize there is no magic solution to undo centuries of systemic bias, oppression, and social exclusion that plagues our nation and our communities,” said Task Force Steering Committee Member and Professor of Social Work Doris Houston. “However, we each have a role in ensuring that Illinois State is a campus community that is forward-thinking in our efforts to honor and seek out diverse minds, gifts, and talents.”

The 40-page assessment can be found on the President’s website.

Task Force to Address Illinois State University’s Climate Assessment
(Appointment July 2016-May 2017)

Sponsoring Leadership
Larry Dietz—President
Anne Davis—Trustee
Levester Johnson—Vice President for Student Affairs
Janet Krejci—Vice President for Academic Affairs (replaced by Interim Vice President for Academic Affair Jan Murphy in January 2017)

Task Force Membership—Steering Committee
Doris Houston—Faculty
Guadalupe Montalvo—Staff AP
Dave Bentlin—Staff Civil Service
Ryan Powers—Student
Rick Lewis—Alumni

Task Force Membership: Faculty, Staff and Students
Stacy Hardin
Mark Olson
Maura Toro-Morn
Hyun-Sook Kang
Michael Gizzi
LB Lyons
Tammie Keney
Erin Thomas
Sam Catanzaro
Mayuko Nakamura
John Davenport
Sandy Colbs
Arnold Hernandez
Wilma Bates
Angell Davis
Jim Jawahar
Aleisha Reado
Jonathan Monroy
Andrew Jacobs