March 13, 2007 -- William B. Harvey, vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity, was elected to a two-year term as the first president of a new postsecondary professional organization, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.
Working with Steven O. Michael, vice provost for diversity and academic initiatives at Kent State University, Harvey began laying the groundwork for such a group almost three years ago while in his previous position as vice president of the Center for Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity at the American Council on Education.
Harvey said the new organization intends to establish a network in America and abroad that links chief diversity officers and other institutional policy-makers to push for institutional transformation that will lead to a more inclusive climate.
Interest in participating in such an organization blossomed immediately. About 80 colleges and universities around the country have already joined the association.
The group defines its mission as supporting and guiding the collective efforts of individuals who are charged with institutional diversity leadership. It aims to transform institutions through educating and inspiring colleagues, and engaging campus, government and private sector leaders to advance the practice and ideals of access, opportunity and empowerment.
NADOHE was established in response to the growing need for institutions of higher education to:
• leverage and maximize investments in diversity initiatives;
• provide opportunities for cross-institutional exchange and fertilization of ideas;
• and develop and monitor standards for diversity professionals.
“NADOHE will fill a huge need by helping colleges and universities actually realize positive institutional change by achieving the higher levels of diverse representation that they say they want within their communities,” Harvey said. “In an increasingly multi-racial and multi-cultural nation and world, diversity has to be part of the fabric of an excellent institution of higher learning.”
NADOHE’s first conference was held last month in conjunction with the American Council on Education’s annual meeting. U.Va. President John T. Casteen III and Thomas Farrell, rector of the U.Va. Board of Visitors, also participated on a panel that discussed institutional diversity.
See the Web site http://www.nadohe.org/ for more information.