Aswad Allen, senior diversity officer, explains what his job consists of and his transition to a new place. “Emporia State has been very welcoming to me and I am excited to be able to serve as the chief diversity officer for this community,” Allen said. “I am looking forward to working with and for everyone.” 


 Aswad Allen, chief diversity officer, will host a series of open forums with faculty, staff and students beginning in October. 

“This is a great opportunity,” said Allen. “My work here is going to pursue working in collaboration with others and developing a model that we can be proud of.” 

The forums will be in sets of three and begin Oct. 8 in the Memorial Union at a time and place to be determined. 

“We’re moving in a direction that will produce the results,” Allen said. “We do have a long way to go but we do have some very good people at Emporia State that are very committed. I don’t necessarily look at where we are today but where we can be tomorrow.” 

According to Allen, it is still too early in the year to get much work done. So far, he has been doing his best to listen to student leaders and organizers to develop goals that will help him better fulfill his charge here at ESU. 

“Everything that I do is about student success,” Allen said. “You have to pay attention to how the curriculum has to keep up with industry demands, how our recruiting methods for students have to keep up with demographic shifts and have a closer emphasis on casting a broader net for faculty talent…We need to continue filling the family of various institutions, in this case Hornet nation, in really preparing our students to be productive citizens and leaders.” 

Allen was identified as an applicant by the senior diversity officer search committee, and selected by President Garrett after their feedback. 

“It is paramount that we continue to address diversity,” said Jim Williams, vice president of student affairs. “It is the foundation of what we do. An institution always has to work with the enhancement of diversity, equity and inclusion. I think the measures (of success) are the number of cultural growths and the number of opportunities to continue to diversify the campus...creating an environment where all are welcome. I think this is a continuing process.” 

Williams chaired the search committee that narrowed down potential applicants to Tajuan Wilson and Allen. 

“I think it’s important that everyone feel included in the community,” said Cora Kimble, a student worker with the Center for Student Involvement. “There are a lot of different activities on campus for students to find their niche in which is one of the benefits of being on such a small campus.” 

According to Kimble, the CSI organizes the majority of events that are held on campus, which offers a great opportunity to get people involved. 

“CSI has plenty of awesome activities that come from our office,” Kimble said. “I think it’s important that students give back but also be there to lend a helping hand when others need it.” 

Students can reach Allen in the President’s office on the second floor of Plumb hall or call 620-341-5427.

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