Office of Diversity and Inclusion fosters and develops diversity
Bill Means is the new director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. In that role he is responsible for developing and fostering diversity at Queens through campus programs and community partnerships.
The expansion of the former Office of Multicultural Affairs office is part of the forthcoming Strategic Plan for 2017. The new office will focus on five strategic areas: culture and climate; faculty, staff, board of directors' diversity, student transformation, curriculum and community partnership.
"We are blessed to have a diverse student body now, but we know we can do even better to recognize the positive contributions of underrepresented groups in terms of ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic standing and religious faith," Means said.
Means will work with faculty to enhance the student experience through curriculum, forge relationships with new community partners and create programming to ensure the culture and climate at Queens recognizes and values diversity of all kinds.
In March, Means will bring Dr. Cornel West to campus for a lecture that will be open to the public. West was educated at Harvard University and Princeton University where he now teaches. He has written 19 books and edited 13 books.
Means already has expanded the peer mentor program - LEAD - and worked on expanding the annual heritage weeks and international week. He has chartered the Collegiate 100 group at Queens that will focus on African American male mentoring as well as the Multicultural Affinity Group (MAG) to support diverse faculty and staff.
"We have a Diversity Council of faculty, staff and students that will meet monthly to discuss a variety of issues," he said. "I have a number of goals in the works, everything from bringing more nationally recognized thought leaders to campus to creating a certificate program for our Campus Services staff to give them more access to continued education."