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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:

Mission

The Office of Equity and Inclusion ensures students, faculty, and staff in Minnesota State learn and work in environments that actively promote equity and inclusion. The values that guide our work include: access and opportunity, equity and inclusion, cultural competence, cultural responsive pedagogy & service, and community engagement.

Vision

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.

Goals

Our systemwide equity and diversity goals include:

Office of Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan: 2020-2023 

Diversity and Equity Strategic Planning Toolkit

Date: March 2, 2020

From: Dr. Clyde Wilson Pickett, System Diversity Officer 

I wish to share appreciation and commend the combined efforts of colleagues and students across our colleges and universities, who were instrumental in the development of the plan. Please know that I am eternally appreciative for all your time, efforts and feedback in crafting this plan. Throughout the process, our team built upon the work being advanced across our system to further renew our commitment to ensure that individuals of all identities, from all backgrounds, and with varying life experiences are supported with inclusive and equitable environments across
Minnesota State.

The attached final plan and appended toolkit identifies the goals and initiatives which will make our work further impactful and lasting. I affirm that our work must systematically address the historic and institutional barriers which have hindered equitable access, opportunities, and outcomes for historically marginalized and underrepresented individuals. I further understand that our commitment must support our students, extend to our faculty, staff, administrators, and also impact our surrounding communities.

As I pause to reflect upon our successes as part of our work to this point, I recognize that we must not be content as there is much work yet to be done. I understand that the years to come will present new challenges and this plan will serve as the next step in advancing our efforts to help transform our campuses and system office to achieve our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

Thank you once again for your commitment and dedication in supporting the work in drafting this plan and for all your efforts to support our students, faculty, and staff in Minnesota State. If you have questions or would like additional support regarding the strategic plan and/or toolkit, please contact Josefina Landrieu, Assistant Diversity Officer at josefina.landrieu@minnstate.edu or Tarrence Robertson, Project Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at tarrence.roberston@minnstate.edu

Andriel Dees
Interim System Diversity Officer
651-201-1472
andriel.dees@minnstate.edu

As Interim System Diversity Officer, 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.

Ka Her
Executive Assistant
651-201-1863
ka.her@minnstate.edu

Desiree Clark
Interim Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance Officer
651-201-1484
desiree.clark@minnstate.edu

 

Priyank Shah
Director of Equity Assessment
651-201-1471
priyank.shah@minnstate.edu

Tarrence Robertson
Project Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
651-201-1483
tarrence.robertson@minnstate.edu

Tarrence Robertson joined the Minnesota State team in August 2019 after returning from his second deployment overseas. Tarrence Robertson currently serves as the Project Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Minnesota State Office of Equity and Inclusion. Additionally, Tarrence is a Major within the Minnesota Army National Guard where he serves as the principal Engineering Planner within the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division.

Once a former felon who experienced homelessness, gendered violence, and overcame substance abuse issues, Tarrence’s personal and professional journey have placed him at the forefront of battling systemic oppression across a multitude of institutions and systems. As an openly transgender man, Tarrence is widely recognized as a leader and advocate for LGBTQIA+ communities both inside, and outside of the military.

In his previous role working full-time in the National Guard, Tarrence developed Minnesota’s Substance Abuse Prevention Program and served as the Program Manager overseeing the Army National Guard’s Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention Programs across a 7-state region.  A few of Tarrence’s accomplishments include: Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Two Army Commendation Medals, Five Army Achievement Medals, MN Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Lavender Community Award, MN Lynx Inspiring Person Award, an exhibit featured in the US Army Women’s History Museum, and one local Emmy award.

 

 

Alexandria Technical and Community College
Muzambe Sibajene at muzambas@alextech.edu

Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Venoreen Brown-Boatswain at Venoreen.Browne-Boatswain@anokaramsey.edu

Anoka Technical College
Venoreen Brown-Boatswain at Venoreen.Browne-Boatswain@anokaramsey.edu

Bemidji State University
Interim: Travis Greene at travis.greene@bemidjistate.edu

Central Lakes College
Mary Sam at mary.sam@clcmn.edu

Century College
Rosa Rodriguez at rosa.rodriguez@century.edu

Dakota County Technical College
Michael Birchard at michael.birchard@dctc.edu

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
Email:

Hennepin Technical College
Jean Maierhofer at Jean.Maierhofer@hennepintech.edu

Hibbing Community College
Miriam Kero at miriamkero@hibbing.edu

Inver Hills Community College
Michael Birchard at mbirchard@inverhills.edu

Itasca Community College
Harold Annette at Harold.Annette@itascacc.edu

Lake Superior College
Sarah Lyons at sarah.lyons@lsc.edu

Mesabi Range Community and Technical College
Antavius Thomas at a.thomas@mesabirange.edu

Metropolitan State University
Email:

Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Interim: Patrick Troup patrick.troup@minneapolis.edu

Minnesota State College - Southeast
Interim: Josiah Litant at Josiah.Litant@southeastmn.edu

Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Johnathan Judd at johnathan.judd@minnesota.edu

Minnesota State University Moorhead
Jered Pigeon at jered.pigeon@mnstate.edu

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Henry Morris at henry.morris@mnsu.edu

Minnesota West Community and Technical College
Le Lucht at Le.Lucht@mnwest.edu

Normandale Community College
John Parker-Der Boghossian at john.parker-derboghossian@normandale.edu

North Hennepin Community College
Eda Watts at eda.watts@nhcc.edu

Northland Community and Technical College
Kristi Lane at kristi.lane@northlandcollege.edu

Northwest Technical College
Interim: Travis Greene at travis.greene@bemidjistate.edu

Pine Technical College
Jen Rancour at jen.rancour@pine.edu

Rainy River Community College
Brad Krasaway at Bradley.Krasaway@rainyriver.edu

Ridgewater College
Stacy Griffey at Stacy.Griffey@ridgewater.edu

Riverland Community College
Danielle Heiny at Dani.Heiny@riverland.edu

Rochester Community and Technical College
Email:

Saint Paul College
Wendy Roberson at Wendy.Roberson@saintpaul.edu

South Central College
John Harper at John.Harper@southcentral.edu

Southwest Minnesota State University
Jay Lee at Jay.Lee@smsu.edu

St. Cloud State University
Ellyn Bartges at ElBartges@stcloudstate.edu

St Cloud Technical and Community College
Debra Leigh at debra.leigh@sctcc.edu

Vermilion Community College
Timothy Loney at timothy.loney@vcc.edu

Winona State University
Jonathan Locust at Jonathan.Locust@winona.edu

“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 click here to access resources in Office 365 SharePoint. Remember to use your specific starid@minnstate.edu.

Commitment to Inclusive Excellence

More than an initiative or a short term approach, Inclusive Excellence informs every effort, aspect, and level of our work.

Inclusive Excellence re-envisions both quality and diversity. It reflects a striving for excellence in higher education that has been made more inclusive by decades of work to infuse diversity into recruiting, admissions, and hiring; into the curriculum and co-curriculum; and into administrative structures and practices. It also embraces newer forms of excellence, and expanded ways to measure excellence, that take into account research on learning and brain functioning, the assessment movement, and more nuanced accountability structures. In the same way, diversity and inclusion efforts move beyond numbers of students or numbers of programs as end goals. Instead, they are multi-layered processes through which we achieve excellence in learning; research and teaching; student development; institutional functioning; local and global community engagement; workforce development; and more. -Williams, et. al (AAC&U)

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