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Updated 3:00 PM July 30, 2007
 

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Diversity Council prepares for first post-Proposal 2 academic year

A new chair leads the University Diversity Council as the campus gears up for its first full academic year after the passage of Proposal 2 last November.

Anthony Walesby, assistant provost and senior director of the Office of Institutional Equity, took the gavel July 1 from outgoing chair, David Gordon, associate dean for diversity and career development at the Medical School.

On the advice of Senior Vice Provost and Senior Counselor to the President Lester Monts, President Mary Sue Coleman established the Diversity Council in 2003 to assess, encourage and celebrate diversity initiatives. The council's mission is to offer "expertise and guidance to promote the pursuit and dissemination of essential knowledge and skills that foster effective participation in a diverse, multicultural and inclusive University community."

Monts says Walesby is a person of experience on compliance issues and one who has a full understanding of the need for and purpose of diversity on a university campus.

"Anthony came to U-M several years ago having gained a great amount of experience on diversity and affirmative action issues at the University of Illinois and the federal government. He has a proven track record and the knowledge to lead our Diversity Council," Monts says.

Among the responsibilities of the Diversity Council are planning the annual Diversity Summit and—new this year—carrying forward and participating in the implementation of the recommendations of the Diversity Blueprints as developed by a task force and endorsed by Coleman in March.

Walesby says the council is able to be a barometer of the campus climate.

"We have an excellent group of experienced faculty and staff from units all across campus who gather regularly to talk about activities that have been successful in their units in promoting diversity. We share best practices and also talk about concerns we have, which we can then communicate to the president and provost," Walesby says. He adds that he would like to see the council's membership grow this year to further broaden the perspective of the group. "It's an exciting time to be leading the council," Walesby says.

A subcommittee is planning the 2007 Diversity Summit to be held on Oct. 4. "Our main focus will be a review of progress on the Diversity Blueprints recommendations and work on moving that process forward," Walesby says.

Other goals of the Diversity Council include publishing their second newsletter and the introduction of a new Web site, both scheduled to be ready for the start of the new academic year.

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