ISU President Larry Dietz launches new role for diversity and inclusion; tabs Dr. Doris Houston to lead

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz (left) and Dr. Doris Houston (right) spoke with media about the new position. (Photo courtesy: Blake Haas/WJBC)

By Blake Haas

NORMAL – Illinois State University President Larry Dietz announced the creation of a new position to move diversity initiatives forward on campus.

Professor Doris Houston will serve as an interim assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion. Houston currently serves as chair of the President’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council as one of the leads of the Steering Committee for the recent Campus Climate Task Force.

President Dietz says Dr. Houston’s role will focus on students, faculty, and staff in possible listening sessions and focus groups.

“We have been in conversations for a long time, just this time last spring we formed an Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion that reports to me,” said ISU President Larry Dietz. “Dr. Houston chairs that, and we have been working for literally all this time, and so I think it’s a natural outgrowth of conversation that has been going on for years to formalize this.”

Working as a liaison to the Diversity and Inclusion Council, Dr. Houston said she’s excited to work with support centers and programs on campus.

“The role is really one of me being a point person if you will to ensure that the current efforts that are underway across our campus are coordinated,” added Dr. Houston. “Perhaps one role might be to utilize an idea that worked well.”

Dr. Houston’s salary will be $112,000 and her position will be evaluated after two-years. Her duties will begin in July.

Blake Haas can be reached at Blake.Haas@Cumulus.com.

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