March 24, 2008

The College of Engineering’s Office for Diversity Advisory Board held its inaugural meeting on March 24, 2008 in Patrick F. Taylor Hall. The board is comprised of representatives from industry partners as well as administrators from relevant university units who are highly motivated to advance diversity initiatives in the College of Engineering.  Dean Zaki Bassiouni welcomed the board members, gave a brief history of diversity issues in the college, and introduced Provost Astrid Merget, who addressed the Board on issues facing women and minorities nationwide, across disciplines, and expressed her support for the Office for Diveristy. Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity and Community Outreach (EDCO) Katrice Albert also spoke to the Board, describing the ways in which the EDCO office is monitoring diversity efforts campus-wide and leading diversity administration in the region.  In addition, Bassiouni delivered an overview of the College of Engineering’s participation in the FOREVER LSU campaign, including the particular funding targets that have been established for the Office for Diversity.

Ex officio member Associate Dean Kelly Rusch charged the Board with a mission to “facilitate and enhance the College of Engineering’s efforts to increase participation and graduation rates of women and minority students and recruit and retain high quality women and minority faculty,” and introduced her vision for the College of Engineering’s diversity programs, which includes being “recognized as providing the best educational experience for women and minorities in Louisiana and the region,” as well as being “nationally recognized for providing quality programs and support” at all educational levels, from kindergarten classrooms to university faculty. This first advisory board meeting also served as an opportunity to introduce two new Office for Diversity staff members: Ms. Julie Harris, Minority Engineering Program Coordinator, and Ms. Vaneshette Henderson, Women in Engineering Program Coordinator. With only two exceptions, the full board membership was in attendance and agreed to convene four times annually. 

Article by Jessica McKelvie-Kemp, for the College of Engineering, 225-578-5706, mlavall@lsu.edu

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