Search comes a month after critical report
Just a month after the Golden-based Independence Institute released a report slamming the CU diversity administration, the university is moving ahead in the search for a vice chancellor for diversity, equity and community engagement.
Chancellor Bud Peterson has named University Libraries Dean Jim Williams chairman of the committee to appoint the position. This position a full cabinet position aimed at promoting diversity.
“A diverse student body exposes students to a broad range of people, backgrounds and experiences,” said Peterson. “That kind of exposure makes you a better person.”
The individual chosen for the position will regularly attend meetings of the chancellor’s cabinet, and will report directly to the chancellor on the university’s efforts regarding diversity.
The annual salary range for the new position is $140,000 to $160,000 – figures that are unsettling to Jessica Peck Corry, Director of the Independence Institute’s Campus Accountability Project.
“It is irresponsible of the university to add a new administrative position when it isn’t currently maximizing its resources,” said Corry. “The university hasn’t proven that a six-figure salary is more important than pumping those resources into opportunities for disadvantaged students.”
The Institute released a report in January detailing findings based on a budget inquiry that began in 2004.
“We had concerns about resource duplication,” said Corry.
Corry said that multiple programs at the university seem to serve the same purpose.
According to Peterson, it is almost impossible to determine exactly how much is being spent on diversity – and that may be a good thing.
“I would like our efforts to be so pervasive that we can’t identify how much money we’re spending,” said Peterson.
Creation of the position has some faculty wondering why CU administration has not gathered more university-wide opinion regarding the new attention toward diversity issues on campus.
“I would have liked to see more input from across the University on the position and more collaboration across groups who have been committed to this for a long time and collected data and experience on it,” said Joanne Belknap, tri-chairwoman of the Chancellor’s Committee on Women.
“It’s also not clear how this fits with the existing vice provost and associate vice chancellor for diversity and equity.”
The position will replace the vice provost and associate vice chancellor for diversity and equity, a position currently held by Christine Yoshinaga-Itano.
It is unclear whether Yoshinaga-Itano will apply for the position, although she has been invited to do so.
“Our intention is to elevate the position [Yoshinaga-Itano] currently holds,” said Peterson. “We’ve invited her to apply for the position.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Jimmy Himes at email@example.com.