Calling a safe, supportive and inviting environment for all students, faculty, staff and guests one of The University of Toledo’s most important values and responsibilities, UT President Sharon L. Gaber announced Nov. 13 a new campus leader to continue and elevate the institution’s ongoing, proactive commitment to diversity.
“As ongoing events at the University of Missouri and other colleges across the country have demonstrated, institutions of higher education still have work to do to live up to our ideals,” Gaber wrote in a message sent to the UT community.“I’m pleased to share with you that Dr. Willie McKether, associate dean in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, has agreed to take on a special assignment to help advance diversity throughout our institution,” she wrote.
“As special assistant to the president for diversity, Dr. McKether will be applying his diversity and academic expertise to work with faculty, staff and students to develop a University of Toledo diversity plan. Dr. McKether will build on the work provided by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement.”
Gaber also pointed to the Division of Student Affairs, where Dr. Kaye Patten Wallace is implementing changes to strengthen diversity resources for students.
The Office of Multicultural Student Services is in the process of being restructured to identify graduate students who will provide programming, academic support and mentoring for specific student groups, including African-American, Latino, LGBTQA and international student populations. Further, the office is being elevated to the assistant dean level and a new leader will be hired soon.
“The University of Toledo’s commitment to diversity must be infused into every action we take,” Gaber wrote. “It is represented in our words as well as our actions and decisions at all levels of the University. From the faculty, staff and students we recruit to ensuring our retention and graduation rates demonstrate equal opportunities of success for all, we must come together as an institution to continue to move this critical priority forward.
“I ask for your help, input and steadfast commitment to equality as we proactively work to strengthen diversity at UT.”