Staff Diversity:
Connecting with NC State

by Dr. Deb Luckadoo

At the May, 2014 meeting of the University Diversity Advisory Committee, Chancellor Randy Woodson made the observation that staff were not as connected to the university as he would like them to be.

The Staff Diversity unit in OIED took that to heart and made staff connections the focus for 2014-2015. Two new affinity groups were formed, and a major web-based program was created by the Staff Diversity Advisory Board that provides easy access for all university employees to attend traditional events and visit special locations that exemplify the welcoming, inclusive institution that we are. The Connect with NC State website was developed by John Starbuck, web administrator for Campus Enterprises, and received top awards from two national organizations.

The Latin@ Student Support Network (LSSN – pronounced “listen”) brings Hispanic/Latin@ faculty and staff and students together for student support and to strengthen the Latin@ community at NC State. It also aims to make Latin@ faculty and staff aware of and welcome at student- sponsored cultural events. The staff and faculty members of LSSN were introduced to incoming Latin@ students and their families at the Hispanic/Latin@ Student Symposium in August and have joined the students at various activities throughout the year.

[Editor's note: The term 'Latin@' uses the '@' symbol to denote both the masculine and feminine forms of Spanish words, as preferred by the Latin@ community.]

The Asian/Asian American Community members have spent time learning about each other’s cultures and experiences on campus. They have also learned about AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) students’ experiences. Since Asia is a vast and multicultural region, this discovery process has been a rich one. The group will continue to meet over the summer.

Speaking of summer, the OIED Staff Diversity unit is sponsoring SOS: Summer Opportunities for Staff, a calendar of events featuring tours of the soon-to-be complete Talley Student Union, a staff reading circle on the student summer reading, coffee chats and lunch and learns. Co-sponsors for the events include the Staff Senate, the African American Faculty Staff Organization, and Campus Enterprises.

New affinity groups are planned for employees who are veterans and employees with disabilities. Anyone interested in helping to start these groups should contact Dr. Deb Luckadoo, director of Staff Diversity.

Dr. Deb Luckadoo is director of Staff Diversity. For more information about OIED's staff initiatives and programs, please see the Staff Diversity website.

Dean Daniel Solomon, Vice Provost Joanne Woodard Speak at EOI Graduation
On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, OIED's Education and Training unit held its annual Equal Opportunity Institute (EOI) Graduation celebration. (See list of graduates at left.) EOI has become an NC State institution, marking its 16th year of educating faculty, staff and students about a full range of diversity and equity topics. For the third year, EOI has also welcomed graduates back to the program to earn the Graduate Scholar designation by taking three new two-hour workshops of their choice. Many campus organizations, academic programs and departments have made EOI a recommended or required training component for their staff.

This year, we were honored to have had outgoing Vice Provost Joanne Woodard and Dean Daniel Solomon speak at graduation. Dean Solomon delivered the address, asserting that diversity within the university is an academic imperative. Vice Provost Woodard, under whose leadership EOI was established, has supported this and other noteworthy initiatives, such as NC State's National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) program, during her tenure at NC State. We will miss these advocates, both of whom will be retiring this summer.

Applications for the next class of EOI will be available in August of 2015. See the EOI website for more information.