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How is D&I represented on your organization’s strategic roadmap? Is it included in your vision, mission or values? If so, how?

Diversity, Inclusion, and a focus on developing a curious, purposeful and engaged global community is the heart of North Central’s mission. Included in our mission, vision, values, and in our strategic plan-fostering diversity, inclusion, and global engagement is how we develop the intellectual, physical, and spiritual human being.

North Central College engages our faculty and staff to develop programs which support diversity, inclusion, and promote an environment free from discrimination. We challenge our faculty and staff to model civil dialogue on social issues which fosters a collegial exchange of ideas. These elements are displayed in the classroom and programs we present to our students, including a robust study abroad program throughout the year.

As part of our roadmap, training and dialogue is an essential component of enhancing diversity and inclusion at the College. North Central:

  • Has developed training so that our hiring teams to understand unconscious bias and the impact of culture on a candidate when interviewing.
  • Is developing ongoing faculty and staff development programs and speaker series where local and national presenters will focus on topics which will address fostering diversity, inclusion and global engagement.
  • Is implementing new recognition opportunities to celebrate those whose work contributes to supporting and advancing diversity on campus.
  • Including in our engagement surveys a component that measures key components of our diversity and inclusion efforts and their effectiveness.

What are the main accountabilities and impact of having a CDO to the organization?

Between Human Resources and our Title IX and EEO offices, leadership is recommending that within five years, the College develop a Chief Diversity Office whose responsibilities include:

  • Measuring the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts. This includes continuously evaluating the metrics we use to monitor our progress and achievements at enhancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Increasing an emphasis on diversity and inclusion programming for students, faculty and staff which promote improved engagement and foster an inclusive work environment.
  • Assisting leadership’s efforts in developing high functioning, cross-functional teams of faculty and staff which foster greater inclusion, social connections, agility, and demonstrate behaviors which express openness.

What are problems, frustrations, and lessons learned have you encountered in implementing your D&I initiatives?

As we develop more programs and initiatives focused on enhancing diversity and inclusion, one element which any person charged with these programs must take into account is that diversity means something different to everyone. Developing programs which focus on positive exchanges of ideas and dialogue have been critical to early successes at North Central College.