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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

September 9, 2005

Campus climate efforts still are on track

by Anne Krapfl

Provide mentoring for new faculty. Develop the "Step into My World" program used annually by Disability Resources. Create an online incident reporting center.

The process of selecting and implementing action items that would improve Iowa State's campus climate for diversity continues this semester. That process focuses on a 40-item list, including those mentioned above. The list was prepared last spring by an ad hoc implementation planning committee appointed by President Gregory Geoffroy and chaired by Larry Genalo, materials science and engineering.

During the summer months, Geoffroy asked the three vice presidents and ISU equal opportunity and diversity director Carla Espinoza to review all items on the list for which they would be at least partially responsible for implementing, according to committee recommen-dations. For example, they were asked to identify individuals or units that could implement an action item as well as the potential for funding it.

Espinoza, who also co-chairs the President's Advisory Committee on Diversity (PACD) with LAS dean Michael Whiteford, said staff in Geoffroy's office are organizing the responses, which she will use in preparing the agenda for a PACD retreat in mid-October.

At the retreat, she said, PACD members would first develop criteria for prioritizing the action items for implementation. For example, she said, action items might be prioritized by cost, time needed to complete, impact on the campus climate and other factors. Armed with those criteria and information provided by the vice presidents, the committee will select items for implementation and a proposed timeline.

Espinoza said the committee's recommendations will go to Geoffroy as part of a university-wide diversity plan.

"A key factor in this implementation phase will be participation," Espinoza said. "If we can get people to dialogue and agree, then we can begin to see changes."

Planning in a nutshell

The planning and implementation effort to improve the climate for diversity on campus began about two years ago with the hiring of diversity consultant Susan Rankin. Rankin led focus groups with underrepresented groups on campus and developed a 64-question survey to gauge the inclusiveness of the campus environment for minority and majority populations. The survey was conducted online in February and March 2004, and Rankin submitted her analysis and final report to Geoffroy in November 2004. Rankin's report is available as a PDF at:

The implementation planning committee's report (April 2005) organizes the action items around five focus areas: university commitment to a just environment on campus, curriculum and pedagogy, research and scholarship, recruitment and retention, and inter-group and intra-group relations. That report also is available in PDF form at:


"A key factor in this implementation phase will be participation."

Carla Espinoza