Academic Senate Meeting Highlights: Nov. 3

cropped-logooption3magnified.pngThe Academic Senate covered employment searches and diversity at yesterday’s meeting.

The university has appointed an institutional security officer and an internet security officer.

Mark Herron was picked for the position. He comes from Western Reserve University. According to Provost Michael Gealt, he was the search committee’s unanimous choice. Herron will start on Nov. 16. The search for the senior associate dean for academic affairs is ongoing, and Gealt said references are being checked. Central Michigan University is still in the recruitment phase for the dean of the College of Health Professions.

Carlin Borsheim-Black is an assistant professor of the English department at CMU and chair of the Multiculturalism and Diversity Education Council (MDEC). She gave a presentation examining the diversity climate at CMU.

“I feel like MDEC has found its voice as an advocate and supporter for diversity-related issues university-wide,” Borsheim-Black said. “Additionally we have started to think more about how we as individual members of MDEC can carry out the mission in terms of returning to our departments and other service work and be a voice for diversity and multicultural education on campus.”

MDEC is looking to expand its membership and Borsheim-Black invited faculty from all departments in the various colleges to volunteer to serve on MDEC at some point in the future.
One of the projects MDEC is currently working on providing support for a gender equity center.

Borsheim-Black also touched on research conducted by Mary Senter, director of Center for Applied Research and Rural Studies.

“The key finding that she came up with and that we have really taken away is that there has been no consistent improvement in the climate for racial and ethnic diversity at CMU between 2007 and 2015,” Borsheim-Black said.

Some other findings MDEC is taking into account:

  • More than 40 percent of students believe racism is a problem at CMU, reporting they’ve heard derogatory or racist comments in the classroom by students and, in some instances, faculty members
  • More than 50% of students of color believe racism is a problem in Mount Pleasant
  • More than 40% of students report having had negative experiences on campus because of their racial or ethnic group

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