University at Albany Chief Diversity Officer Tamra Minor is working to improve methods of assessing the university’s diversity initiatives so she can make the case for continued investment.
For example, she has helped the university’s deans form campus climate committees and focus groups to measure progress in individual departments. Minor has also brought in professional facilitators to work with groups of faculty on diversifying coursework.
And because Minor, like most chief diversity officers, has a small staff, she recently developed a plan with the marketing and communications office to better promote her team’s achievements and services.
“There’s a lot of energy and interest behind this,” Minor says. “At the end of this year, when we pull together all of the goals of all the climate committees, we will end up with a rich campus plan.”
But establishing true diversity takes ongoing work. Minor’s office, for instance, continues to hold forums where members of the campus community can discuss times when they feel most and least included.
The work remains complex because diversity covers more than just race and gender.
“For example, I’m not just a woman, I’m a black woman who was born and raised in a certain part of the country who does a certain type of work at a certain level within my organization,” she says. “And addressing all the different dimensions is only scratching the surface of why this work is so complex.”
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Matt Zalaznick is senior writer of UB.