CANYON, Texas—Angela Allen, chief diversity and inclusion officer at West Texas A&M University, is one of two candidates selected from across the United States to participate in Cohort 4 of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education’s (NADOHE) Chief Diversity Officer Fellows Program (CDOFP) for the 2017-2018 academic year. Allen’s fellow cohort member is Jessica Cruz, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.
The CDOFP is a professional leadership/mentorship program for new and early career chief diversity officers. The goal of the one academic year CDOFP is to provide the Fellow with mentoring by a senior level CDO and guided professional development experiences. Allen’s mentor for the year is Dr. Carmen Suarez, vice president for global diversity and inclusion at Portland State University in Portland, Ore.
“I’m so excited,” Allen said. “My goal is to get a deeper understanding of the role of a diversity and inclusion officer and how I can best serve West Texas A&M University.”
Allen was named WTAMU’s chief diversity and inclusion officer in September 2015, after serving as the interim for several months to fill the position vacated by the retirement of Dr. Rosemary Gray in December 2014. She works with each of the University’s colleges and schools as well as departments, groups and offices to promote and increase diversity and inclusion across campus. Her work also supports the recruitment and retention of under-served and underrepresented students as well as helping build a diverse faculty and staff.
For her one-year term as a Fellow, Allen will participate in the following initiatives to gain a better understanding of diversity issues and challenges.
• Engage in and sustain a mentor/Fellow relationship with her senior level chief diversity officer based on mutual trust and professional respect.
• Design with her mentor an individualized CDO Leadership Enrichment and Achievement Plan (LEAP) for the Fellowship Year to include the plans, goals, objectives, activities, campus site visits, a special project with at least one major deliverable and a budget plan for use of the award.
• Visit the mentor’s campus in Portland for two to three days for on-site learning and enrichment experiences.
• Observe the leadership styles of individuals at the Portland State University, including their strategies, outcomes, effectiveness, and how they interact with and impact one another from these four frames of managing organizational change: structural, human resources, political, and symbolic.
• Develop and implement a special project with tangible outcomes to benefit the Fellow as CDO and/or the institution.
• Present to the NADOHE Board of Directors during the NADOHE Annual Conference about the CDOFP year, incorporating the special project and its outcomes.
• Participate in a CDOFP assessment.
• Become part of the CDOFP alumni network, participate in alumni activities, and serve for at least one year following program completion as a resource to new Fellows via telephone or other technology.
In addition to visiting her mentor’s campus, Allen’s mentor also will visit WTAMU to better understand the diversity issues and challenges here.
“We are delighted to offer this important opportunity for a new and/or early career chief diversity officer to obtain real time guidance and on the ground learning from a more senior colleague,” Archie W. Ervin, NADOHE president, said. “The goal is to enhance the Fellows’ professional knowledge and experience in order to stimulate strategic thinking and advance outcomes at their home institutions.”
NADOHE serves as the preeminent voice for diversity officers in higher education. Its vision is to lead higher education towards inclusive excellence through institutional transformation. For more information about NADOHE, please call 561-472-8479 or visit www.nadohe.org.
Copyright 2017 – Dexter Harper. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.
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