The recent national focus on racism and inequality has led to discussions of what the government, corporations and higher education institutions are doing to advance diversity and inclusion.
For years, MSU has worked to recruit and retain diverse students, faculty and staff.
We strive to create an inclusive campus that reflects our public affairs mission: ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement. This has and continues to be a priority for the Board of Governors and university leaders.
Focus on cultural competence
We participated in a nationwide Campus Climate Survey, completed by our students, faculty and staff, to gauge the university’s climate of diversity and equity. The results were better than other institutions, but highlighted more work is needed.
We also became aware of the Twitter account #BlackatMoState. This highlighted areas where we can and must improve the educational and social experience for all our students.
To further improve cultural consciousness and competence, we are:
- Expanding training for university leaders, faculty and staff.
- Developing educational and training opportunities for resident assistants, student leaders and other students.
- Further integrating diversity and inclusion topics into first year foundations courses and general education classes.
- Increasing faculty and staff diversity. By 2021, the goal is at least 16 percent of faculty and staff will be international or members of historically underrepresented groups.
The Missouri State University Foundation also established two scholarship funds in memory of George Floyd and David Dorn. Floyd died in May while in Minneapolis police custody. Dorn was a retired St. Louis police captain who died during looting in June.
These and other initiatives exemplify Missouri State’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive campus climate which is an integral part of our public affairs mission.
COB Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
The College of Business has spent years building one of the most diverse colleges on campus.
In 2019, more than 11 percent of COB’s students were from underrepresented groups, and an additional 14 percent were international students.
A few ways we’ve increased diversity include:
- Pursuing accelerated graduate programs with historically Black
colleges and universities.
- Underwriting and hosting diverse student groups visiting campus.
- Attending college fairs in high schools and regions with historically underrepresented students.
- Organizing a Corporate Mentorship program to pair underrepresented students with area professionals.
We recognize a diverse faculty creates a rich environment, so we conduct national searches for all faculty hires. Vacancies are promoted via web postings, job boards, consortiums and publications designed to yield diverse applicant pools.
The COB also provides financial support for the PhD Project, whose mission is to “increase the diversity of corporate America by increasing the diversity of business school faculty.” It also provides peer-support as they launch careers in academe.
We believe increasing the nation’s pool of diverse faculty is a prerequisite to increasing diverse business students.
COB is also a major sponsor of MSU’s annual Collaborative Diversity Conference. This event, along with others focused on diversity and inclusion, are critical for creating awareness and equipping university members to address racially motivated behaviors.
These and other initiatives showcase the college’s commitment to providing a diverse and inclusive educational experience, and equipping our students for careers in increasingly diverse organizations.