The Centre College board of trustees held a special-called meeting in Danville on July 23, 2018, to discuss issues related to diversity and inclusion that arose during a peaceful student demonstration on May 2-4, near the end of the recently completed academic year.
According to President John A. Roush, “the idea to have a summer meeting of the College’s board, the first such meeting in more than two decades, occurred at the suggestion of the trustees, who wanted to make it clear to the students that their voices were heard.”
During the meeting, trustees reviewed a report from the administration regarding best practice in the area of diversity and inclusion, which will inform the College’s efforts moving forward. The trustees also learned about the number of campus-wide initiatives related to diversity that were already under way prior to the three days of conversation between students and administrators, as well as others that will be in place by the fall term.
The new initiatives include adding staff in Centre’s diversity office, creating an intercultural space in the campus center and implementing a bias incident reporting tool, similar to what was developed this past year for reporting incidents of sexual misconduct.
Above all, the College will conduct education and training across all areas of campus during the coming academic year and redouble its efforts to make sure mechanisms are in place to strengthen Centre as an inclusive and safe campus community for all students.
In addition to the topic of diversity and inclusion, trustees also received updates on other current campus activity.
CFO Brian Hutzley provided an update on construction of Centre’s new residence hall, a 178-bed facility on the site of the College’s former soccer field, scheduled for completion by August 2019. Hutzley also shared a positive report on the recently completed fiscal year that ended June 30 and commented on the budget for the new fiscal year. In addition, Bob Nesmith, Centre’s chief enrollment officer, offered a preliminary update on student recruitment efforts.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Centre College board of trustees will take place October 25-26, 2018.
by Michael Strysick
July 24, 2018