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:


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.


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:


Check out some of our stories in the news and various publications:

Alexandria Technical and Community College
Muzambe Sibajene at

Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Venoreen Brown-Boatswain at

Anoka Technical College
Venoreen Brown-Boatswain at

Bemidji State University
Debra Peterson at

Central Lakes College
Mary Sam at

Century College
Rosa Rodriguez at

Dakota County Technical College
Michael Birchard at

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
Stephanie Hammitt at

Hennepin Technical College
Jean Maierhofer at

Hibbing Community College
Miriam Kero at

Inver Hills Community College
Michael Birchard at

Itasca Community College
Harold Annette at

Lake Superior College

Mesabi Range Community and Technical College
Antavius Thomas at

Metropolitan State University
Craig Morris at

Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Jay Williams at

Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical
Ricki Walters at

Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Johnathan Judd at

Minnesota State University Moorhead
Jered Pigeon at

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Henry Morris at

Minnesota West Community and Technical College
Le Lucht at

Normandale Community College
John Parker-Der Boghossian at

North Hennepin Community College
Nikhil Enugula at

Northeast Higher Education District
Carmen Bradach at

Northland Community and Technical College
Kristi Lane at

Northwest Technical College
Deb Peterson at

Pine Technical College
Jen Rancour at

Rainy River Community College
Brad Krasaway at

Ridgewater College
Jehana Schwandt at

Riverland Community College
Danielle Heiny at

Rochester Community and Technical College

Saint Paul College
Wendy Roberson at

South Central College

Southwest Minnesota State University
Jay Lee at

St. Cloud State University
Ellyn Bartges at

St Cloud Technical and Community College
Mike Mendez at

Vermilion Community College
Timothy Loney at

Winona State University
Jonathan Locust at

“The campus Chief 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

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)