Archie W. Ervin, PhD
NADOHE President

Dear NADOHE Colleagues:

I trust that this communication finds you well and that you have managed to find time over the past couple of months to recharge your batteries, enjoy your families and prepare for what will be another year of challenges and rewards as leaders in higher education. Our work as senior level diversity professionals is often quite taxing personally and we must remind ourselves to exercise self-care as we exert ourselves as institutional leaders.

I write to provide some updates about our association since our last national conference in D.C. in March 2017. NADOHE had its largest conference ever with nearly five hundred attendees and with international participants from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Israel as presenters and participants. We are very fortunate that our members value the professional and personal benefits provided by our national meeting and continue to participate at record levels. At the conclusion of 2017 NADOHE conference, the conference planning committee was already at work planning our 2018 conference.

So save the date of March 8-10, 2018 for the 2018 NADOHE conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington D.C. More details soon!

I am excited to report that NADOHE launched its inaugural Standards of Professional Practice Institute (SPPI) held June 14-17, 2017! We had thirty-five diversity professionals attend the SPPI, led by a national faculty of researchers and diversity practitioners. Participants evaluated the institute as a tremendous success with a first rate curriculum that provides research based standards to increase their capacity to lead institutional diversity and inclusion programs and practices. The 2018 SPPI planning is underway. Dr. Clyde Pickett, CDO at Allegheny Community College and Dr. Rosemary Kilkenny, VP and CDO at Georgetown University, are leading the planning efforts. We will announce the location and dates for the 2019 SPPI in early fall 2017.

NADOHE’s Board of Directors concluded its annual meeting July 20-22, 2017. I am pleased to report that we made important strides toward ensuring our success in the future. The board of directors voted to implement a global engagement scholarship for undergraduates at NADOHE institutions beginning fall 2017. The scholarship, generously funded by a donation from Insight into Diversity, will encourage diverse undergraduate students to engage in global learning opportunities. NADOHE will award four $2500 scholarships to undergraduate students at our national meeting in March 2018. Watch for NADOHE announcements regarding the scholarship nominating process that starts in the fall 2017.

Another important board action was the decision to recruit more NADOHE members to participate on NADOHE’s standing committees, which conduct the routine business for NADOHE. We have ten standing committees ranging from the annual conference planning committee to our marketing and communications committee. Our goal is to recruit 50-60 new committee members in the coming year to take important leadership roles within NADOHE. We invite you to visit NADOHE’s website at http://www.nadohe.org/ to review the list of committees and the contact information of committee chairs to become involved as a leader in NADOHE.

I am also pleased to report on the trend of CDOs who have risen to the ranks of CEO of higher education institutions. With the recent appointment of Dr. Jamel Santa Cruz Wright, as the first woman and first African American to lead Eureka College in Illinois, there are now at least six former Chief Diversity Officers who have risen to the CEO ranks. The other five former CDOS included in this list are Dr. Juan S. Muñoz (University of Houston-Downtown), Dr. Shirley Collado (Ithaca), Dr. Gregory Vincent (Hobart and William Smith Colleges), Dr. Glen Jones (Henderson State University) and Dr. Rusty Barcelo (former president of Northern New Mexico College). These appointments reflect the impact and contributions of CDOs to higher education and underscores the fact that the CDO position is a viable career path to the CEO ranks.

Finally, we will continue to monitor national issues that affect diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. Recent news reports on potential challenges by federal government offices to admissions processes that are intended to advance student diversity on our campuses is disturbing for several reasons and can have a chilling effect on efforts to ensure equal access to higher education. We will closely monitor these recent pronouncements on student admissions and other efforts that have potential impact and implications on higher education. 

Another recent pronouncement that “the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military, on its face represents discriminatory treatment, and it may also have a chilling effect on members of the transgender community enrollment and employment, particularly in military colleges and universities. As such, NADOHE affirms our previous positions against discrimination in any form against anyone and we are opposed to the erosion or elimination of policies that protect members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Additional issues we will continue to monitor and track: the travel ban on international students and scholars; changes in legislation for undocumented students and their deportation; the proposed changes to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs; and, changes by the U.S. Department of Education’s, Office of Civil Rights in Title IX guidance on sexual misconduct and protections against discrimination of transgender students. 

In closing, I invite all members to tell us how we may better support you in your work and recommend ways we may improve our association to enhance the return of your investment as members of NADOHE.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, best wishes to everyone for a healthy and productive year.

Archie W. Ervin, PhD


 

Leading Higher Education Towards Inclusive Excellence