Office of Equity and Inclusion
The Office of Equity and Inclusion consults, advises, trains, and provides policy development in the areas of equity, inclusion, diversity, equal opportunity, and affirmative action. The office provides programs and services to support its colleges and universities, as well as the system office. In addition, the office partners with communities, businesses, and civic and educational organizations to impact student success, procurement practices, and campus climate.
Programs and services focus on:
- Strategic diversity leadership
- Program and professional development
- Policy and compliance
- Student success
- Evaluation, assessment, and accountability
- Community engagement
The Minnesota State Office of Equity and Inclusion works to center equity, as well as embed equity-minded and anti-racist practices throughout all Minnesota State operations. To realize equitable outcomes for both students and employees, our collective pursuit of Equity 2030 necessitates intentionality, broad culture change, innovation, collaboration, and a holistic approach. The values that guide this work include anti-racism, intersectionality, access and opportunity, and cultural competency and responsiveness.
Our educational environments are culturally relevant, responsive, and innovative to the students we serve. Our students are assets, we affirm their identities and lived experiences, and provide spaces that are emotionally safe and reflect who students are. We are recognized and valued as thought leaders on equity and inclusion and feel empowered to lead as experts in the field.
Our systemwide equity and diversity goals include:
Support capacity building of campuses and leadership groups in our pursuit of Equity 2030, and the mechanisms that catalyze systemic change.
Advance equitable academic outcomes by establishing and supporting systems and processes that identify, address, and remove barriers to student success.
Ensure civil rights compliance for campuses receiving federal funding.
Establish a comprehensive systemwide affirmative action program and work to eliminate disparities in employee outcomes and experiences across all dimensions of diversity.
Establish a Title IX compliance review process and a systemwide sexual assault prevention training and support program.
Establish a systemwide strategy for campus climate to cultivate improved experiences and outcomes for students and employees.
The Office of Equity and Inclusion began its most recent strategic planning process in Fall 2022, to continue advancing and aligning strategies for equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging with the overarching goals of Minnesota State. This plan builds on previous equity and inclusion strategic plans (both 2015–2017, and 2020–2023), and draws on the commitment of the Minnesota State chancellor and chancellor’s cabinet to address equity gaps through the strategic vision of Equity 2030.
Equity 2030 aims to close the educational equity gaps across race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geographic location at every Minnesota State college and university by 2030.
This strategic plan is intended to guide the Office of Equity and Inclusion’s work in the immediate and long-term future (2024–2028).
Strategic Priority Areas and Goals
The Office of Equity and Inclusion - through its strategic planning process - has identified three strategic priority areas that are important for ensuring equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging within Minnesota State. The priority areas are unique and distinct from each other, yet interconnected in critical ways. They are:
- Operationalizing Equity - Defining and measuring progress toward Equity 2030 goals, identifying and applying best practices, and implementing structures that standardize equity.
- Operationalizing Access and Opportunity - Ensuring campus policies/procedures and federal/state guidelines are met to provide supports and opportunities for students and employees.
- Campus Climate - Assessing a sense of inclusion, belonging, and safety for students and employees across Minnesota State to support evidence-based decision-making.
Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion
As Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion, Andriel has oversight responsibilities for the system-wide strategy to support diversity, equity and inclusion. Prior to joining Minnesota State, Andriel served as the Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Capella University, Chief Diversity Officer at University of Wisconsin River-Falls, and Associate Dean of Multicultural Affairs at William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline).
Andriel holds a Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia.
Pos Lis Vwj
Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion
Dr. Pos Lis Vwj is the Interim Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) for Equity & Inclusion and supports the Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion in the long-term work of Equity 2030. As the Interim AVC, he assists the VC in executing key Office of Equity and Inclusion initiatives and operational responsibilities. Prior to joining the system office, Pos worked at Minnesota State College Southeast as the Director of Equity & Inclusion, serving in the roles of Campus Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator, and Minnesota State University, Mankato as the Director of Asian American and Multicultural Affairs. Pos was also previously a tenured Associate Professor at St. John Fischer University and has taught for over 10 years.
Pos holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a Bachelor of Science in sociology with a minor in political science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He is the author of numerous publications, including a book titled, "Assimilation and the Gendered Color Line: Hmong Case Studies of Hip-Hop and Import Racing."
Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor
Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance Officer
On August 5, 2020 Mrs. Clark joined the Office of Equity and Inclusion as the Interim Civil Rights/Title IX Compliance Officer. In her role, Desireè will be responsible for guiding compliance efforts for federal and state nondiscrimination laws, along with the policies and procedures relevant to Minnesota State. Desireè comes to us from St. Cloud State University where she has been the Affirmative Action Officer and Title IX/1B.1/1B.3 Investigator in their Office for Institutional Equity & Access for the last 5 years.
Desireè is a proud alumni of St. Cloud State University where she earned her Master’s Degree in Social Responsibility. She also received her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree with a focus on modern dance and ballet at University of Missouri, Kansas City.
Associate Compliance Officer
Dr. Ashley Atteberry is the Associate Compliance Officer. In this role, she assists with guiding compliance efforts for federal and state Affirmative Actions laws and relevant Minnesota State policies and procedures.
Prior to joining Minnesota State, Ashley served as the Director of Student Conduct and Resolution and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Ashley’s nearly 20 years of experience started as a graduate assistant in Housing at the University of South Dakota and then continued through progressive roles at Ferris State University (MI) and Minnesota State University Moorhead. She has worked in concurrent roles within the areas of Title IX, new student orientation, COVID-19 case management as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion. Ashley received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English from the University of South Dakota and earned a Doctorate in Higher Education from the University of North Dakota.
Project Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Tarrence Robertson is an openly transgender man and currently serves as the Project Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Minnesota State Office of Equity and Inclusion. His work focuses on driving several projects and strategies to advance equity and inclusion and address equity gaps for both employee and student stakeholder groups. Tarrence recently retired from the MN Army National Guard as a Major, where he led numerous strategic planning efforts and served as the champion of the MN Army National Guard LGBTQ+ Special Emphasis Council.
He is currently pursuing graduate studies focusing on issues of race and equity at Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minnesota. His undergraduate degree is biomedical science from St. Cloud State University, Minnesota. A few of his awards include: Bronze Star Medal, (2) Meritorious Service Medals, Combat Action Badge, (3) Army Commendation Medals, (5) Army Achievement Medals, and numerous civilian recognitions.
Director of Equity Assessment
Tarnjeet K. Kang is an interdisciplinary researcher who advocates for community-centered, inter-sectional and participatory approaches to research. Recently, she has worked in South Sudan to support the research and evaluation needs of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations. Prior to this she has worked as a lecturer and in California's educational policy sector. She holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Bemidji State University
Hennepin Technical College
Rainy River Campus
Normandale Community College
Winona State University
“The Campus Diversity Officer or CDO strengthens the college or university local and national leadership in advancing institutional diversity; maintains a balanced advocacy role between historic considerations of access and equity for students and the expanded portfolio of institutional transformation; establishes and maintains strong, effective collaborative partnerships with peers across the college or university; and develops partnerships and programs with diverse communities and constituencies across the region or state to respond effectively to their needs.” - Mark Emmert, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and former president of the University of Washington.
The CDO is an integrative role that coordinates, leads, enhances, and in some instances supervises formal diversity capabilities of the institution in an effort to create an environment that is inclusive and excellent for all. Within this context, diversity is not merely a demographic goal but a strategic priority that is fundamental to creating a dynamic educational and work environment that fulfills the teaching, learning, research, and service mission of postsecondary institutions (Damon Williams, 2012). For additional information on the strategy, structure, and change management of campus chief diversity roles, refer to "The Chief Diversity Officer" by Damon Williams and Katrina C. Wade-Golden.
Minnesota State campus CDOs strive to build strategic diversity capacity at the institutional level. Key competencies as defined by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education include:
- Multidisciplinary appreciation of diverse cultures, communities, and histories that constitute American society.
- Understanding of American traditions of democracy, active citizenship and how they serve as a means to understand and resolve conflicts linked to race, ethnicity, gender, and class.
- Ability to describe the historical patterns and demographics of American society in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and class.
- Ability to carry out an intellectual discourse with diverse peoples for the purpose of evaluating public policy and creating a shared vision for American society.
- Development of problem-solving and analytical skills for diverse issues, with an understanding of the diverse American culture and the higher education field.
- Knowledge of the origins and systemic nature of prejudice, discrimination, and oppression that has been directed toward people of diverse backgrounds and orientations.
- Capacity to visualize public situations and issues involving diversity from multiple perspectives.
- Understanding of current experiences and issues in the U.S. of different racial groups (including discrimination in all forms, experiences, and privilege).
- Ability to think about race in the U.S. context of global diversity, patterns of prejudice, and equity.
Campus Diversity Officers can find resources at the SO-Campus Diversity Officers Team Site. If you need access please contact email@example.com with subject line: Access to CDO Team Site.
Commitment to Inclusive Excellence
More than an initiative or a short term approach, Inclusive Excellence informs every effort, aspect, and level of our work.