University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Diversity Consultants—Open Forums for UND Community

Earlier this semester, President Robert O. Kelley approved the creation of a new position at the University to further strengthen and advance the University's commitment to diversity and inclusion.   The University anticipates posting and filling that position in 2013. UND subsequently announced that it will retain consultants during fall 2012 to help define an organizational structure and description for this job role that will best help the University achieve its diversity goals.

The consultants have now been selected and will visit UND Oct. 29-30.  They are Anna Gonzalez, Ph.D., Dean of Students at Lewis and Clark University, and Helen Neville, Ph.D. professor of counseling at University of Illinois. (Bios included at the end of this email.) Drs. Gonzalez and Neville will assist the University in identifying the optimal leadership position--along with the optimal structure, functions, skills and other related requirements--to strengthen and advance UND's diversity commitment.  The successful completion of this assessment will contribute to the advancement of a supportive and welcoming environment for members of underrepresented groups across UND.

Vice President Susan Walton is coordinating the visit for the diversity consultants.  The consultants will be meeting with a number of scheduled groups.  In addition, there will be three open forum meetings that the entire UND community is invited to attend:

  • Faculty Meeting –Tuesday, October 30, 10:00-11:00 a.m., 10/12 Swanson Hall
  • Staff Meeting – Tuesday, October 30, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 10/12 Swanson Hall
  • Student Meeting took place Monday

We hope you will be able to participate in the appropriate meeting to provide your feedback and input on this important position.  If you are unable to attend an open forum, you will be able to submit answers to questions about the position online, if you wish.  Details about how to access and respond to these questions will come later.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Susan Walton or Jenny LeTexier at 7-2038.  Thank you for your support and feedback for this important process.

Bios for Diversity Consultants:

Anna Gonzalez is the Dean of Students / Senior Student Affairs Officer at Lewis and Clark College and oversees 15 departments that range from Housing to Athletics and approximately 80 staff members. A 19-year veteran in higher education administration, she received her B.A. at Loyola Marymount University and her Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University. Prior to coming to Lewis and Clark, Anna was the Associate Vice Chancellor at the University of Illinois where her accomplishments include collaborations with faculty and campus construction projects related to diversity.  At Illinois, she has led efforts to recruit and retain a diverse student affairs staff and has overseen the management of cultural centers for Asian American, African American, Latino/a, Native American, LGBT and other historically marginalized communities.  She previously led a variety of student-life functions at the University of California at Irvine, and has directed student-life and residential-life functions for  4 semester-at-sea programs for the University of Virginia and University of Pittsburgh.

A leader in regional and national professional associations, Gonzalez served in numerous regional and national conferences for NASPA and was the board chair for the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program.  Her accomplishments include the establishment of campus-wide diversity initiatives, development of hiring and retention goals for staff, and diversity training for students. She serves as a consultant for various campuses with particular emphasis on diversity-related services and student affairs departments.

Helen Neville is a professor of educational psychology and of African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has assumed a number of leadership roles both at Illinois, including Provost Fellow and Chair of the Counseling Psychology Program, and at the University of Missouri-Columbia including the co-chair of the Center for Multicultural Research, Training, and Consultation.  She is the lead editor of the Handbook of African American Psychology and is a past associate editor of The Counseling Psychologist and of the Journal of Black Psychology.

Neville has been recognized widely for her research, teaching and mentoring efforts. She received the American Psychological Association’s Kenneth and Mamie Clark Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Professional Development of Ethnic Minority Graduate Students and the Charles and Shirley Thomas Award for mentoring and contributions to African American students and the community. She also was recently honored with the Association of Black Psychologists’ Distinguished Psychologist of the Year award.

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