Washington State University announced it will be taking yet another step to improve campus climate and diversity. According to a WSU News release published last June, the administration proposed two new student affairs leadership positions.
The Associate Vice President of Student Engagement will promote student leadership, wellness and access. The Associate Vice President of Community, Equity and Inclusive Excellence will oversee diversity and support for varying student opinions.
Late last month faculty, staff and students expressed their opinions regarding qualifications for the positions. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment at WSU Vancouver Nancy Youlden, said the administration is looking for someone who understands the “Land Grant Mission” and someone who is able to work at a university that is “student oriented and can work through faculty to support the wellness of students.”
The “Land Grant Mission” is an initiative for Universities to have their students apply their studies to the community around them and to the real world. According to the WSU website, the purpose of the initiative is “to apply knowledge through local and global engagement that will improve quality of life and enhance the economy of the state, nation, and world”.
According to Youlden, the positions will have a slight impact at satellite campuses. Youlden mentioned that the “AVP for Community, Equity and Inclusive Excellence will have a greater impact on some of the WSU campuses that do not currently have faculty or staff dedicated to diversity and equity efforts.”
Youlden also said the administration has yet to create a concrete plan for establishing candidate criteria or decide whether it will host another session to discuss the positions.