University seeks input on chief diversity officer role

Danielle Ferguson

The university community has a chance to give input about what they think the new chief diversity officer’s role should be at the university.

The committee in charge of searching for the new officer will hold a series of town hall meetings and use the feedback provided to create a job description. 

The first of the meetings is from 2:15 to 3 p.m. and then again from 4:15 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the Oak Room of the Memorial Union.

The other town hall meeting is from 10:15 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 in the Cardinal Room of the Memorial Union. More town hall meetings will continue through April. 

Anyone in the ISU community can give input as to what role the officer should fill and the responsibilities that person should have.

Since the university is creating the position, the job description will come after the town hall meeting input. 

President Steven Leath announced the chief diversity officer position in 2013 after The Jackson Consulting Firm conducted a comprehensive study of Iowa State’s diversity programs and initiatives. Included in the firm’s recommendations was creating a chief diversity officer position.

Leath appointed the chief diversity officer committee, which is made of about 15 faculty, staff and extension personnel, in October 2014.

The position specification process is planned to last until April, with the position opening in May. 

From May to June, the university plans to recruit and reach out to candidates or nominees.

The first round of interviews are planned for July to August, with on-campus interviews in September and October. 

Leath said he would like to have the position filled by the late fall 2015 semester or early spring 2016. 

“Iowa state has done a good job in becoming a more diverse and inclusive place both in terms of the student body and the work force,” Leath said in a former Daily article. “I think we have to work harder to meet our diversity objectives maybe than some other places, we are a small college town in a rural state.”