UM System Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force calls for applicants
University of Missouri System students, faculty and staff who want to enact social change now have the outlet to do so.
Dr. David Mitchell is the chair of a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. Mitchell says one of the first steps will be hiring an independent consulting firm to research diversity, equity and inclusion within the entire UM System. Studies like this have been done at the individual campuses in the past, but not the entire UM System. The UM System has not selected a consulting firm for the project yet.
The task force will accept membership applications from UM System students, faculty and staff. Mitchell says these representatives will meet for two days each month to discuss past research findings and current rules and regulations until there are new research conclusions to discuss.
Mitchell says change will take time. It is unclear specifically what changes the UM System Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force will make. According to Mitchell, task force members will not know what action they need to take until they get research results back from an independent consulting firm.
When Mitchell presented this information to stakeholders, they were receptive to the idea of change within the UM System.
“There’s a lot of things I like about the institution, both at the campus and system level, but there’s always opportunities for change and improvement,” MU Residential Life Director Frankie Minor said.
Mitchell says the idea to do this kind of research existed even before the protests by Concerned Student 1950 and other students on campus last semester. Mitchell hosted an event on campus Wednesday night to outline the goals of the task force, and plans to visit the campuses in St. Louis, Kansas City and Rolla before the end of the semester.