Notetaker(s): Sherri N.

Attendees: Bill Chameides, Yasmin Von Dassow, Deborah Gallagher, Anthony Garza, Glenda Lee, Cindy Peters, Bijan Seyednasrollah, Belinda Williford, Charlotte Clark, Sherri Nevius, Paul James

1. Check-in

1st meeting of the NS Diversity & Inclusion Committee

2. Review Action Items

  • None – 1st meeting

3. Agenda

A. Dean’s welcome

B. Dean’s explanation of origin of project and work of ALT group

  • Discussed thoughts on student/faculty/staff roundtables.
    • Roundtable: Good feedback, but folks need to be eased into the process to make it a safe space. Which will then facilitate folks to contribute openly.
    • Regarding Roundtable, Paul James feels like we (NS) could be lightyears ahead of the rest of the university at this point, but we can’t get into the analysis paralysis phase. We have enough data to move forward to see qualitative and quantitative implications.
  • We need to do a better job at framing why we are offering the diversity so folks don’t have a knee-jerk reaction or feel they are doing something wrong in regards to diversity.

C. Make-up of the committee

  • Dean Chameides announced the appointment of Glenda Lee as Chairperson.
  • The Committee agreed that a Co-Chair should be appointed, preferably a white male faculty member (to further round out representation from various groups).  Dean Chameides and Glenda Lee will discuss this further and identify an appropriate individual.
  • Our biggest challenge might be: Getting more faculty involvement and support. How do we do this?
    • In student recruitment, our students should understand that they know they will be in an environment that is diverse (gender, race, social-economics, language, culture, etc.). Not so true with faculty.

D. Dean’s charge to the committee

E. Time for brainstorming

  • It was agreed that the Committee would meet once per month.
  • What does the committee want to do? Where do we go next?
    • Glenda suggested that we re-look at the draft diversity document to identify what ideas we want to start with.
    • Paul: Our product is students.  Who do we want our students to be upon graduation in respect to diversity? What do faculty feel should be in the students tool box in regards to diversity when they graduate? How does it enhance their degree?
    • Bill: All of our students would have a comfort level and confidence to talk about diversity issues when they leave the NS.
    • Paul’s advice: Keep in mind that less is more. Do fewer things very well. Consider this when we look at what we want to do next (ideas in the diversity document, or new ideas) within the current AY.
  • Glenda provided an overview of Rising TIDE
  • Yasmin: How do janitorial/facility staff population get incorporated into this conversation?
  • Yasmin Von Dassow introduced the possibility of adding a diversity option to the RCR requirements for PhD Students.  Yasmin will initiate a fact-finding conversation with Doug James (Assist. Dean of Academic Affairs in the Graduate School) in this regard and report back to the committee.  Current RCR topics are listed at:
  • Bill mentioned the use of the IAT Test (Harvard test). Implicit Association Test. Paul James provided feedback as to the use of it. It’s very useful, but you need to be at a certain grasp on diversity before using it.  We are too early in the process. It will be a great tool to use along the journey, but we may not be at the right point in our journey.

F. Adjournment

4. Review Action Items

  • Glenda: Monthly meeting schedule to be determined
  • All Committee Members:  Review the Diversity Proposal and think about low-hanging fruit, courses of action that can be more easily initiated and done well, resulting in short-term success.
  • Sherri Nevius: Create a shared website for the Committee and will upload the Diversity Proposal and reports from previous diversity roundtables.  Action items/meeting notes will be posted to this site.
  • Dean Chameides and Glenda Lee: Identify co-chair
  • Yasmin: Discuss/explore possibility of adding/creating RCR courses on diversity topics with Doug James, Graduate School.


Next Meeting: TBD

Next Notetaker: TBD