I am pleased to report that NADOHE continues its very strong growth trajectory of the last four years as our present membership exceeds six hundred members (individual and institutional memberships combined). This continued growth and impact are testaments to our association’s status as the preeminent voice for diversity and inclusion in higher education and to the content expertise we bring to colleges and universities who continue to struggle with becoming beacons of inclusive excellence.
NADOHE’s increasing professionalism among our ranks has contributed to the growth of the Chief Diversity Officer’s position as one of the fastest growing senior level positions in higher education over the past several years, with more than seventy new Chief Diversity Officers created across the country in the twelve to fifteen months (New York Times, September 6, 2016).
The continuing racial unrest on our college campuses over the past year and a half has also contributed to the growth of new Chief Diversity Officers as institutions are turning to senior diversity and inclusion professionals for leadership and engagement with other senior institutional leaders to respond to these challenges. This creation of new Chief Diversity Officer positions on college and university campuses is a welcomed trend in diversity and inclusion leadership models in higher education.
As diversity and inclusion professionals, we are uniquely positioned by our collective expertise and knowledge of best and effective practices to offer guidance and solutions that will move our college campuses and society toward becoming truly more equitable and inclusive communities. Be assured that NADOHE will continue to advocate for institutional responses that actively engage senior diversity professionals with developing strategies, tactics and actions to address the unfinished equity agendas that have been revealed at our nation’s institutions of higher education over the past year.
Finally, I want to provide some updates on some of our accomplishments over the past seven months and inform you of an exciting project planned for June 14-17, 2017.
First, in June 2016, we completed our first ever externally developed survey and have placed a summary of the survey results on our member’s only section of the website which I invite you to visit and review. I am pleased to report the survey shows that our members are indeed in positions of influence in universities across the country with nearly three-quarters of our respondents serving as CDOs and other Senior Diversity Officers roles, and more than 50% serving as members of the President’s cabinets. Perhaps most importantly to us, more than 70% of our members say they are satisfied with their NADOHE memberships and continue to see the Journal of Diversity In Higher Education and our national annual conference as excellent member benefits. I encourage everyone to read the survey results to learn more about our association and perhaps offer suggestions for things we as an association can do to improve the return on investment for our members.
Earlier this fall term, we relaunched our webinars for members with a recent webinar on Student Activism that had more than 120 participants. We are planning to utilize the results of the survey to explore the possibility of setting up NADOHE speaker’s bureau and consulting service –stay tuned. We encourage all members to submit recommendations to the Professional Development Committee for future webinar topics.
Next, I am pleased to announce that NADOHE Board member, Dr. Venessa A. Brown (Editor) will soon publish “A Promising Reality: Educators Reflect on Race, Gender, and Culture in Cuba”. (Peter Land Publishers), a volume which offers reflections on the NADOHE Educational Delegation to Cuba in July, 2015. The volume includes reflections by NADOHE members on their Cuban experiences.
Finally, I am pleased to announce that NADOHE will offer its first ever NADOHE Standards of Professional Practice Institute for Senior Diversity Officers in June 14-17, 2017. We have secured nationally renowned faculty who will offer a curriculum based upon NADOHE’s Standards of Professional Practice for Chief Diversity Officers (JDHE, 2014). This Institute will be the gold standard in certification of professional practice for all senior level diversity professionals. The faculty for the Institute will include nationally renowned researchers and practitioners who will engage and challenge Institute participants to refine their personal and professional competencies as a leaders in higher education diversity and inclusion leadership. We are excited we have reached this point in our maturation as a national association and look forward to sharing more about the Institute in the upcoming months and at our next annual conference in D.C.
My final thought is to challenge all NADOHE members to find ways to become involved with our association. We want hear your ideas and suggestions about additional services and opportunities NADOHE can provide for our members.
With your help and support, we can lead higher education toward inclusive excellence.
Thank you for your support and involvement with NADOHE.
Archie W. Ervin, Ph.D.