It would be an inconsiderate assumption to say everyone at Pepperdine feels at home. The University must take more steps to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in and out of classrooms.
Chief Diversity Officer
In a March 3 President’s Briefing, President Jim Gash introduced J. Goosby Smith as the first vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer and April Harris Akinloye as the assistant vice president for community belonging. Smith and Harris Akinloye will head diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at Pepperdine starting June 1.
After a summer and fall full of promises to promote diversity and inclusion, upper administration needs to ensure their next move is appropriate. Pepperdine cannot truly be a home to all until campus no longer allows for a culture of complacency surrounding bigotry.
Pepperdine announced plans to hire a chief diversity officer June 8. Five months later, the search is underway, and administration plans to fill the role by next spring.
President Jim Gash shared the Presidential Action Advisory Team’s recommendations in an email for diversity and inclusion measures to be introduced at Pepperdine. The seven key areas include curriculum, hiring, diversity and inclusion education, environment and culture, a center for diversity, Presidential Speaker Series and assessment.