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May 2, 2016
Northwest Missouri State University’s Board of Regents during its regular meeting Friday unanimously approved the addition of a vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion as well as a coordinator of diversity and inclusion to elevate the University’s strategic focus on the issue.
The move is just one outcome, University leaders said, of research, analyzing data and conversations with students, faculty, staff and community members.
“We’ve provided programing for years at Northwest Missouri State University, but we’re looking here at infrastructure and really changing the course and maturing in terms of our approaches,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “Our value at Northwest of being interculturally competent is critical to all of this.”
Jasinski added, “This is but a piece of what we’re doing at Northwest. This is a step and an important one. The conversations have been good and a lot of times very difficult and heart-wrenching.”
The new vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion will report to the president, have a seat with the University’s leadership team and be charged with leading Northwest’s vision and planning for diversity, equity and inclusion, including professional development, assessment and outreach efforts. The coordinator of diversity and inclusion will provide direct support and programs to assist marginalized students and employees, administer diversity programs and collaborate with other campus units to ensure inclusive environments.
Currently, Northwest’s diversity and inclusion efforts are based in the Office of Student Affairs and designed to support student needs. Northwest employs a director of multicultural student success, coordinator of multicultural student success, and coordinator of Title IX and ADA/504, while the Office of Human Resource is responsible for Title IX and ADA practices for University employees. The University Police Department addresses student and employee issues and coordinates with Student Affairs and Human Resources.
The new structure will broaden diversity, equity and inclusion efforts campus wide for students and employees, in addition to impacting community initiatives. In addition to the two positions approved by the Board, the University already has reallocated one position to the new structure. Funding for the positions comes from a combination of reallocated funds and a student culture and climate fee approved by the Board in March.
Presenting the proposal to the Board, Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Matt Baker explained Northwest’s responsibility to prepare students to live and work in a diverse and rapidly changing environment while ensuring faculty, staff and community members are appropriately equipped to help deliver the outcome.
Baker said creating a supportive, inclusive environment is critical to Northwest’s long-term viability and students’ ability to be career-ready in an increasingly global society. Baker noted the majority population in the United States will be non-white in the next 30 years. Northwest’s domestic non-white population is 15.3 percent.
The Board also approved 105 curriculum revisions that included what leaders called a historic redesign of Northwest’s educator preparation curriculum to align with new state standards.
Northwest will implement revisions to its Bachelor of Science in Education degree programs in elementary, special education: cross categorical, middle school, secondary and elementary-secondary, in addition to creating a degree in early childhood. The revisions are a response to proposed federal regulations on teacher education preparation as well as restructured educator preparation requirements issued by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“This has been a monumental piece of work,” said Dr. Joyce Piveral, the dean of Northwest’s College of Education and Human Services, noting faculty representing the University’s departments of Professional Education and Fine and Performing Arts collaborated to revise the courses with a competency-based education model. “Our students will be able to go through the program without a lot of additional hours and be able to complete in four years. That was a goal as the faculty came together.”
The redesigned programs, which begin in fall 2017, include a sequence of three competency-based modules that integrate quality indicators in the teaching field.
All education majors will complete phase I, which includes six instructional modules and related professional education activities delivered during three trimesters. Phase I, as approved by the Board Friday, will be completed prior to admission to teacher education and leads to candidates successfully completing the Missouri General Education Assessment exam required for admission to teacher education.
Subsequent phases, pending additional Board approval, will offer instructional modules for elementary and middle or secondary majors prior to student teaching, lead to candidates successfully completing the Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA), and support the student teaching experience.
Assessments designed to demonstrate mastery of integrated competencies contained in each module will be evaluated to determine a candidate’s progress through the required curriculum. As a competency-based program, candidates will receive credit for a module upon demonstration of mastery once they successfully complete the associated assessments.
In other business, the Board authorized Northwest to move forward with repairs to its historic Administration Building and execute a contract with E.L. Crawford Construction Inc., not to exceed $3.4 million. The repairs will address the building’s windows, lintels and gable end walls.
The Board also approved a new MOREnet contract that expands Northwest’s wireless internet bandwidth to 5 gigabytes; a contract to implement a customer relationship management database tool to assist Northwest with better serving and meeting student needs; approved the University’s miscellaneous fee schedule for revenue-generating services and internal services provided by departments; approved faculty appointments for the summer trimester and the 2018-2019 academic calendar.
The Board of Regents is responsible for sound resource management of the University and determining general, educational and financial policies.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468