AC JosepH Media | Rowan University
GLASSBORO – Rowan University’s Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion hosted a ribbon cutting and open house Tuesday (Sept. 24) to celebrate the division’s mission and its new home in Savitz Hall.
The Division, which leads Rowan’s efforts to address cross-campus issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, formed in January with a broad mission to celebrate the differences among the University community and to help expand opportunities for all.
“We’re very proud, because this is something our students advocated for,” said Dr. Monika Williams Shealey, former dean of the College of Education who was named senior vice president to lead the new division in January.
Centrally located on Rowan’s Glassboro campus, the division will affect the experience of virtually every student, faculty and staff member at the University. Included beneath the DEI umbrella are the Office of Student Equity & Compliance; Social Justice, Inclusion and Conflict Resolution (SJICR); Achieving Success through Collaboration, Engagement and Determination (ASCEND); the Creating Higher Aspiration and Motivation Project (CHAMP); and the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
Among the division’s wide range of duties are a charge to provide students support and protection under Title VI and Title IX; to promote an inclusive university community where individuals are empowered to grow; and to protect all students, faculty and staff against discrimination or retaliation.
Taking part in the ribbon cutting, Shealey said that Rowan has made great strides in addressing issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, but societal, cultural and educational issues remain.
“It takes a community to exact changes we believe in,” she said.
Dr. Penny McPherson-Myers, vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, said Rowan’s culture, which has long been improving with regard to diversity and inclusiveness, will get better still.
“There’s so much we can do, but getting there is everyone’s work,” she said.
Addressing about 100 attendees at the morning program in Savitz, President Ali Houshmand said much has changed at Rowan since his arrival on campus, as provost, in 2006, but at least one of his goals remains: to ensure that every student feels at home.
As the DEI leads the charge in addressing issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, more and more students will, Houshmand said.
“The question of what makes us a great university, a home away from home, is our responsibility,” he said.