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Fri, February 20, 2015

Building on decades of diversity

Through the end of February, Missouri S&T will be marking Black History Month with a full roster of events. I’m proud to say that honoring our past, recognizing our challenges and creating a welcoming community throughout the university is a focus this month and throughout the year.

In my view, it’s vitally important to focus on diversity and welcome all individuals to campus — not only because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s expected from our corporate partners and the entire Missouri S&T family. Diversity of thought, diversity of perspective makes our community stronger and helps create an environment that fosters innovation. In today’s newsletter, I’ll highlight some of our accomplishments and news related to this topic.

Celebrating anniversaries

This year we are celebrating the confluence of several milestone anniversaries related to diversity. This academic year will mark the: We are celebrating these anniversaries throughout the year under the theme “building on decades of diversity.”

I invite you to read a just-published Q&A with Shenethia Manuel, our vice chancellor for human resources, equity and inclusion, about the history of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on African American Recruitment and Retention and where it’s focused for the future.

Making diversity a strategic priority

Shortly after I started as chancellor in 2012, Missouri S&T adopted inclusion as a core, shared value. This means that we seek to build a creative learning environment marked by openness, understanding and valuing all people and perspectives.

In addition, fostering diversity is a key aspect of our strategic plan. Lever 3.4 outlines specific steps we’re taking to promote inclusion and increase the diversity of our faculty, staff, students and administrators.

The results are still coming in, but half of the 36 new faculty members who started at Missouri S&T last fall were women; and record enrollment numbers for women, underrepresented minorities, and international students were recorded.

Design the Celebration of Nations tee

For the past six years, one of the most public displays of our campus and community diversity has been the Celebration of Nations parade. Last year, more than 80 countries were represented in the parade that starts on campus and winds through downtown Rolla. My family and I have been honored to lead the parade in the past, and we’re looking forward to it again next fall. Read more to find out how you can submit an original design reflecting this year’s theme, “One Campus. One Community. One World.”

Keeping the conversation going

Last fall, we held the second in a series of campus discussions on contemporary issues hosted by the Chancellor’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion called “Let’s Talk: Understanding Perceptions.”

Stay posted for details on an upcoming “Let’s Talk” event focusing on issues related to being part of the minority in educational settings. The event will be co-hosted by the university’s leadership team and the student-led, Diversity Leadership Council.
Warmest regards,

Cheryl B. Schrader, Ph.D.
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