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ISU creates new position for diversity, inclusion

NORMAL (WEEK) -- Illinois State University has created a new position to "move diversity initiatives forward on campus," President Larry Dietz said in a release Monday.

For this role, ISU has named professor Doris Houston as the interim assistant of to the president for diversity and inclusion.

Doris Houston

This newly created position will oversee " the systematic review of the Campus Climate Implementation Task Force, and work as a liaison to the Diversity and Inclusion Council," according to the release. 

Houston, who has served as chair of the president's diversity and inclusion advisory council, has been with the university's school of social work since 2005.

She also has worked with ISU's Steering Committee for the Campus Climate Task Force.

In this position, Houston " will be responsible for collaborating with the University’s vice presidents on areas such as strategic plan development and implementation," according to a release by ISU.

The salary for the new role will be $112,000.

The role will support centers and programs on campus geared toward populations that are underserved and connected through affinity groups.

“I am both honored and humbled to serve as interim assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion, which is one of Illinois State’s core values,” Houston said.  “This position will provide the organizational leadership necessary to ensure that we foster a campus environment characterized by cultural responsiveness and a commitment to social justice, and I ask that each and every member of the campus community join us in these efforts.”

In October 2019, students protested ISU for alleged unfair treatment, while chanting throughout the quad, "this fake diversity has got to go."

The protests stemmed an incident involving the Black Homecoming Committee when they took to social media to explain how an event they say they secured for homecoming week at Redbird Arena had been canceled for a volleyball practice.

Vice President of Student Affairs Levester Johnson said in October there was no contract signed to make the reservation official.

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