By the start of the academic year, the centers — Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center; Office of Latinx, Asian and Native American Affairs; Women’s Center; Office of LGBTQA Affairs; Office of Disability Services; and the Veteran and Military Center — will report to Matt Boaz, the chief diversity officer.
Realigning the centers from the Division of Student Affairs so they fall under the chief diversity officer’s responsibility places these essential areas within the Office of the President.
“This realignment sends a strong message to our on-campus and off-campus constituents that diversity and inclusion is prioritized at the highest level of the organization for all of our university populations and is not limited to students alone,” said President Cheryl B. Schrader.
Boaz said his role as chief diversity officer is not limited to having a large impact on the climate and experiences of underrepresented students, employees and community members. It is also important, he said, to be able to influence more-represented people, helping them understand how to be more inclusive and how to be part of an inclusive environment.
“By putting the centers under the umbrella of the chief diversity officer, all of those units and the chief diversity officer will share that responsibility for that climate and that experience, working in concert with one another and working toward common goals,” he said.
The organizational change was influenced by the strategic planning process, which is already helping to set priorities for the university.
“It is clear that diversity and inclusion is critical to building an environment that fosters innovation, and by elevating the university centers that serve underrepresented populations Wright State is reinforcing that priority,” Schrader said.
Moving the centers will allow them to expand their missions, visions and services, as well as align related responsibilities now distributed across various units. One of the goals for the centers is to provide excellent service and support to all faculty, staff and alumni, as well as students, especially students in underrepresented populations.
Schrader praised the work that has happened in the centers under the leadership of the Division of Student Affairs and Gary Dickstein, interim vice president for student affairs. Over the past year, Bolinga, LANA, the Women’s Center and the Office of LGBTQA Affairs have fostered new and constructive working relationships benefiting many on campus.
Though the centers will be organizationally grouped together under the chief diversity officer, they will not all be in the same location on campus. The university hopes to move Bolinga, LANA, the Women’s Center and the Office of LGBTQA Affairs to the same location. The Office of Disability Services and the Veteran and Military Center will remain in their current locations.