Margo Foreman, Interim Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity, said the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) will continue to serve Iowa State’s students, employees, alumni, visitors and the City of Ames.
According to Foreman and the DEI Office’s website, DEI’s mission statement is, “...to promote critical thinking, responsible management of people, professional skills development, innovation in research, teaching and learning and the constructive expression of divergent viewpoints.” The DEI website also says that this aim aligns with Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen’s plan for making Iowa State a national leader in fostering an inclusive campus environment.
When asked what DEI’s goals were, Foreman said, “Our goals are to help ISU live its stated commitment to equity as outlined in our land grant mission, non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and strategic plan.”
According to the DEI Office’s website, Iowa State is considered a land grant university because its campus is built on the ancestral lands and territory of the Baxoje or Ioway Nation. The website also states that the United States acquired this land from the Meskwaki and Sauk nations in the Treaty of 1842.
“We wish to recognize our obligations to this land and to the people who took care of it, as well as to the 17,000 Native people who live in Iowa today,” states the DEI Office’s website.
When asked what opportunities the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion offers students, Foreman said they provide more than just opportunities for individuals earning a degree.
“We are an enterprise-wide entity and not explicitly student-serving,” Foreman said. “We work with all constituents of ISU to enhance the campus climate which impacts the experience of employees, students, alumni, visitors and the City of Ames.”
According to their website, the DEI Office offers programs and events such as Campus Conversations, Know Your Rights and Engagement and Inclusion Officers to improve campus climate and community.
DEI also partners with many campus committees, including the Committee for the Advancement of Women and Gender Equity, the Committee on Disabilities, the Wellbeing Alliance and the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, to promote inclusivity in every aspect of campus life.
Foreman said the most popular way students reach DEI is through their student-serving offices located in the Division of Student Affairs in Beardshear Hall on campus.