On Jan. 1, UNO announced that Candice Batton, Ph.D., will now serve as the Coordinator for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for faculty.
This came after an announcement on Jan. 17 when UNO announced it would end its search for a combined position between UNO and UNMC for an Assistant Vice Chancellor for Inclusion. The two campuses expressed how they plan to adapt to their own unique challenges and possibilities for diversity and inclusion by appointing a leader at each campus.
Along with the creation of Batton’s role, she will be advised by a committee that will advise her and Sacha Kopp, Ph.D., senior vice chancellor of academic affairs, in different areas, including:
- Better understanding of the experiences of faculty of all identities across all schools and departments
- Support for faculty working with the diverse student population at UNO
- Coordination between leaders at other NU campuses
- Support new faculty in their move to the Omaha and UNO communities
- Equity in retention, advancement and recognition
Batton has formerly served as the director of the UNO School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
“We are grateful in advance to this group of faculty for their leadership, their candor and their commitment to inclusive excellence at UNO,” Kopp said. “Our plan is for AVC Batton, along with AVC Hicks and AVC Alvarado to advance our campus’s mission to foster inclusive excellence.”
Hannah Brown, a graduate student at UNO, expressed why she thinks it’s important to have faculty working toward an inclusive environment.
“Diversity is paramount on a college campus because it’s an important factor in cultivating a successful academic atmosphere,” Brown said.
Brown, a social worker, has to understand different perspectives both at work and in the classroom to be successful.
“You need diversity in educational settings because it promotes dynamic and critical thinking. Multiple perspectives challenging each other pushes people to expand their thinking,” Brown said.