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Hunt for diversity cabinet position begins

President Flanagan has announced he is on the hunt for a cabinet-level position solely focused on promoting diversity, with hopes to hire as quickly as possible.

“… We are beginning an immediate search for ISU’s first assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion,” the president announced at the annual Founders Day celebration this past February.

“We want to identify someone with experience and passion for this agenda who knows the University and already enjoys the respect of his or her colleagues,” Flanagan added at his announcement.

Eric Jome, director of Media Relations, explained the need for this position has been in the works for a couple of years.

Previously, there have been task forces formed on campus to study and enhance diversity, Jome explained.

Those task forces have recommended there be a cabinet-level position so there is an individual to oversee or coordinate diversity on campus, and someone with the power to expand diversity initiatives, Jome added.

“A newly formed council for diversity is working on creating a formal job description for the new position, which will be released relatively soon … We are certainly looking for someone with experience in diversity programs and someone who has a good feel for how ISU or universities in general operate,” Jome said.

He added the main duty of the new position is to be able to coordinate different initiatives and departments on campus dealing with diversity and inclusion all at once.

As of now, there is no one in particular the campus is looking at to hold the position, Jome said.

“The formal search will start within the next couple weeks,” he said. “There’s no definite timeline, but the president is very interested in getting the ball rolling pretty quickly.”

In addition to coordinating diversity initiatives around campus from different departments, the diversity assistant will be charged with formulating a campus vision for diversity, he said.

“As a core value of the institution, having someone with a larger strategic vision is very important,” Jome said.

Hiring for this new position will not have a direct effect on student tuition prices, Jome made clear.

The individual hired, however, will be working with admissions to further diversify incoming students and will also work with Student Affairs, among other areas of campus that will directly affect the current students, he added.

Jome expressed the importance of diversity and inclusion on campus.

“We want to be able to reflect the reality and the face of society. Certainly as a university, this is where we want to encourage people to explore the world and get to know people from different backgrounds,” he said. “[We want to] bring people together to learn as a community.”

For more information on the new position on campus, contact Media Relations by email at mediarelations@ilstu.edu or visit their website at MediaRelations.Ilstu.Edu.

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