Clarion University has established a new Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, effective Sept. 1. The office brings together professionals who will work together to develop policies and procedures to advance student and employee equity, diversity, inclusion, multicultural and international education, and social justice.
It will include Rogers Laugand III, who moves from director of minority student services to director of multicultural affairs and diversity education; Amy Salsgiver, director of social equity; and Marcy Schlueter, international student advisor and study abroad coordinator.
Laugand, a specialist in student affairs and multicultural education, has been involved in diversity leadership since his arrival at Clarion University in August 1990. Among his accomplishments, he started GEMS and RUBIES, programs which focus primarily on the retention and graduation of African American male and female students. He established the W.E.B. DuBois scholarship Fund to assist minority students with the purchase of books, and he co-founded the Building Bridges Program, which promotes diversity and builds race relations through open and honest dialogue, both on campus and in the community.
"My main goal is to work with the university community to advance diversity efforts both on and off campus," Laugand said. "Through collaboration, the hope is to create an environment that is welcoming and accepting of all people, and more specifically, people of color."
As part of his expanded role, Laugand will advise the President's Executive Council on issues, ideas and concerns of students of color who attend Clarion University. Laugand will report directly to President Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson.
"Hearing the voice of students through the lens of diversity is critical to better support of student progress, retention and graduation," Pehrsson said. "Rogers' input at this level will influence, shape and change policy."
Salsgiver's work as director of social equity will expand to include coordination of Title IX, part of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. She will also provide support for international students.
"The new office offers an exciting opportunity to expand our work in diversity and equity for the university community," Salsgiver said. "The last several months have shown that Clarion can and will come together to meet the needs of our students and employees. The creation of this office is another step in that path forward."
Schlueter will continue as the international student advisor. She will also provide support and guidance to domestic students that have a desire to study abroad.
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs will be located on the fourth floor of Becht Hall. For information, email Laugand at firstname.lastname@example.org or Salsgiver at email@example.com.