Diversity Initiatives

Provost Diversity Initiatives

The challenges facing our campus and community with respect to both COVID-19 and Facing Racism has resulted in a number of new and stronger initiatives to address these pandemics. Outlined in this section are some of the projects and focus beginning with the Office of the Provost overarching goals, followed by the approaches taken by each of the academic colleges and the library to promote diversity, inclusion, and cultural consciousness.

Mentoring program for diverse faculty

Bear Bridge is designed to continue to foster collaboration among the junior and senior faculty during the tenure track process. This program envisions to strengthen a sense of community in our campus. Bear Bridge has as a priority to provide resources and development opportunities for the mentees to obtain their academic accomplishment as well as career satisfaction while networking with other colleagues. This program intents to serve as a supplement for any existing formal or informal mentoring within colleges and departments. For more information, please contact Judith Martínez, Ph.D.

Bridge Program faculty mentors

Scholar 2 Scholar program

The Missouri State University Scholar 2 Scholar (S2S) program is a campus-wide research initiative for students from all majors that have been awarded work-study funds and have an interest in helping faculty as a research assistant. S2S provides students, especially those from underrepresented populations, with opportunities to engage in faculty research projects. Watch an introductory video to learn more about this program.

Codifying courses with a diversity or multicultural focus

An attribute will be added to Banner to identify and promote courses across disciplines that include learning objectives or content tied to racism and all forms of diversity.

Co-Construct training for department heads with deans on racism and diversity

Following the Facing Racism training provided to ALC and AC prior to the beginning of the fall semester, training for department heads will be planned based on recommendations from Deans and other participants.

Welcome back webinar focusing on racism and diversity

In place of all faculty lunch, the President and Provost will lead a discussion involving key faculty leaders and others to set the tone on our goals for inclusive consciousness and competence.

Opportunities for faculty engagement in topics related to racism

Beginning in fall, specific opportunities for faculty to learn how to better integrate topics tied to racism and inclusive practices will be provided building on the preparation provided by the Gardner Institute and the Diversity 101 programming offered to both faculty and staff.

Reaching out to black alumni

The Black Alumni Council is interested in supporting our efforts in Racism by providing guest lectures via Zoom or other means or participating in mentoring programs with students.

Academic Colleges and Library Diversity Initiatives

College of Business

Promote Diversity in COB Print and Digital Assets

  • Intentionally highlighting diversity in ALL program, department, and college brochures, webpages, social media and YouVisit Virtual Tour
  • Outlining diversity initiatives in COB alumni magazine

Targeted Recruiting

  • High School and Regional College Fairs with significant underrepresented student attendance
  • Partnering with Admissions to provide transportation to campus and host students from STL and KC high schools serving largely unrepresented students
  • Pursuing agreements with Historically Black Colleges and Universities for accelerated graduate programs
  • Support for China Campus and international partnerships (FA19 705 (14%) international students

Student Support

  • Corporate Mentor Program
  • Business Advisement Center and Graduate Programs Staff  --Training Planned
  • College Diversity Scholarships
  • Prepare for the Fair Workshops
  • Suits4Students Assistance Program
  • COB Education Abroad Awards
  • Funding for Student Competitions (for individuals and teams)
    • Example -Funded MHA students to attend the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE), a nonprofit association of Black health care executives.

Diversity and Inclusion Programming

  • Major Sponsor of the Collaborative Diversity Conference
  • Promote and cover the cost of other diversity and inclusion training
  • Support for Education Abroad (inbound and outbound) and faculty exchange programs

Support for PhD Project

  • Participating in the PhD Project whose mission is to increase the diversity of corporate America by increasing the diversity of business school faculty. Attract Black/African Americans, Latinx/Hispanic-Americans, and Native Americans to business PhD programs and providing peer support.
    • Challenging to recruit diverse business faculty, per the PhD project there are currently only 1303 active U.S. minority business faculty.   Good news, 259 minority doctoral students in the pipeline.
  • Encourage high achieving COB minority students to consider graduate school and/or doctoral programs.  

Commitment to Recruiting A Diverse Workforce

  • Use of diverse search committees
  • Recruitment outreach aimed at traditional as well as underrepresented racial and ethnic groups
  • Participation in Diversity Hiring Program

College of Education

  • COE developed the BEAR Partnership Program, a week-long campus residential program for diverse high school students to encourage them to attend college at MSU. Three years ago, 7 high school students attended; two years ago 12 students attended; last year 17 students attended. The past summer 29 students were scheduled to attend (including 12 African-American students from Mobile, Alabama, but the pandemic did not permit the program to be held on campus.
  • COE hired an African-American recruiter in Mobile, Alabama, to recruit African-American high school to attend MSU to become educators. This area was targeted because the COE dean had created relationships with public schools and IHEs in Alabama based on his consulting work in that state in past years.
  • Each year from 2013 to 2019, the COE dean traveled to the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, the University of Memphis, Alabama State University, and the University of South Alabama, to recruit diverse faculty. These efforts resulted in a 33% diverse faculty recruitment rate.
  • The COE maintains an MOU with the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, first established in 2012. The goal is to promote diversity by forming mutually beneficial programs, recruit faculty, and recruit students.
  • The COE dean has financed 6 to 8 faculty to participate in diversity conferences in St. Louis each year since 2018.
  • Each COE academic department promotes social justice by engaging faculty and encouraging them to include instructional elements in classes.
  • A COE faculty member has worked for the NAACP over several years.
  • COE faculty routinely use social media to promote social justice.

College of Humanities and Public Affairs

  • Cooperation between CHPA, CNAS, and CHHS Diversity Councils to share ideas and recommendations
  • Sharing of ideas from the Diversity Council with Heads and faculty for their feedback on initiatives such as hiring practices, addition of inclusivity activities in the Promotion/Tenure annual review
  • We house the Area Studies Minors that include Diversity Studies, African American Studies, Gender Studies, Latin American Studies, and Disability Studies
  • Diversity Training for Heads and increased opportunities for diversity training and programming for faculty
  • Use of social media to market our courses in cultural competence – frankly nearly every course taught in CHPA falls into this category
  • Greater efforts to initiate interdisciplinary and inter-collegiate cooperative programs – among the most recent being the cooperation between ECO and AGR on new certificate programs CRM developed four query discussion sessions for faculty from June 29-July 24 addressing racism and other social justice topics impacting the discipline.

College of Natural and Applied Sciences

  • College Diversity and Inclusion committee
    • Meet with group of volunteers identified over the summer to write our college action plan.
  • Statements regarding diversity and inclusion from professional organizations.
    • #BlackLivesMatter. These are posted on the CNAS Diversity Website.
  • CNAS goal - seek grant funding for diversity initiatives.
  • Dr. Tayo Obafemi-Ajayi is leading the NSF funded Mo LSAMP program at MSU.
  • Dr. Matt Pierson is currently leading the NSF STEM Scholars program at MSU.
  • Dr. Einhellig, Dr. Rebaza and Dean Jahnke received NSF funding for an Advance program at MSU. We are still in the first year of this project but will be sharing updates soon.
  • CNAS submitted a preproposal to the HHMI Inclusive Excellence program early this year. The pandemic is slowing down the review process but we hope to hear something this fall.
  • Leaders of the MSU TRIO Program are interested in partnering with us to submit a Math/Science Upward Bound grant in 2021 and a McNair grant in 2022.
  • CNAS (and departmental) goal to bring in more diverse seminar speakers.
    • Opportunity to invite diverse speakers from around the world.
    • Please send your department head (or the leader of your seminar program) some ideas this summer.
  • Opportunity to lean into conference submission for students and faculty to national and international virtual conferences.
  • Inclusive learning practices.
  • CNAS faculty attended the Humanity of Inclusive Practices course in July.
    • Faculty are sharing with their departments and with the Dean.

Globally Responsive Education and Teaching

  • Associate Deans Xiaomin Qiu and Kyoungtae Kim have been very active with GREAT, an initiative launched by International Leadership and Training Center, Office of China Programs, and Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning to promote dialogues and discussions on the internationalization of curriculum and instruction.
  • Production of short videos addressing topics such as what efforts are needed to teach an online class in the international context, how to perceive and address language barrier and cultural difference issues in online classes, how to solve the time zone difference problem, how to motivate students’ engagement, learning outcomes and learning experiences when teaching online, and more.

Judith Enyeart Reynolds College of Arts and Letters

Targeted Recruiting

  • Recruiting more underrepresented students to work at The Standard. The incoming editor-in-chief, Greta Cross, and faculty advisor Jack Dimond have made recruiting underrepresented students a top priority for fall 2020.
  • Recruiting more underrepresented students to serve on the MJF Student Advisory Board. The SAB meets 4-5 times a year to make recommendations on class curriculum, equipment purchasing, advising, and the overall learning environment in MJF. Their responses are always shared with the full faculty and staff at department meetings and affect decisions the department makes.

Student Support

  • Issued a statement in support of BIPOC students. Shared a statement of support of BIPOC students on all social media platforms and on department website. Shared a blog post in support of BIPOC students written by Azaria Higgins. The post included a list of anti-racism resources.
  • Forming a student advisory committee with volunteers and nominations – group will perform a climate survey
  • Plan to hold a sort of Town Hall for all students addressing our support, perhaps virtually.
  • Multicultural Ensemble and the Gospel Choir embrace our diverse students and are led by an African American conductor, Robert Gibson.
  • Reached out to current students and alumni to get their perspectives.
  • Theatre and Dance is considering hosting the Racial Equity Institute (Groundwater Workshop) at fall retreat.

Diversity and Inclusion Programming

  • Adding focuses on race in diversity to curriculum, exhibitions, visiting artists information for our site.
  • New Communication department head, Dr. Brain Ott, has made racial justice one of his top five priorities for his inaugural year as head. Racial justice will be a major discussion item at the COM fall retreat. An action plan will then be developed.
  • WLC had a special summer meeting focused on issues of racism and anti-racism and are planning a panel discussion feature faculty and students of color for fall retreat. They are investing in developing a heritage language program for Latinx students that would feature a strong identity component.
  • We premiered a work last spring based on the 1905 lynching here in Springfield. It was deeply moving and deeply disturbing and created a lot of opportunities for conversation.
  • Making a determined effort to rid ourselves and our repertoire of racist literature and inferences. For example, Dan Ketter refused to play Missouri Waltz, which has racist lyrics, at the state of the state event on July 29 at HHPA. Have banned other songs, like Camptown Races and Marching Through Georgia.
  • Tent Theatre postponed a planned video and released a performance by one our black students.

McQueary College of Health and Human Services


  • Establishing a Student Equity and Inclusion Council – representation from all units/levels. Purpose: Provide safe space for students to bring issues/recommendations to the college; Provide advocacy channel
    Projects and Ideas in the College, work with units and the college to improve practices, events, have representation at leadership meetings when discussing Diversity and Inclusion
  • Have Equity and Inclusion Council representation at all leadership meeting
  • Revisit Hiring paperwork and documentation – look for ways to maximize recruitment to apply
    • Job announcements
    • Diversity Statements (Teaching Philosophy, letter or separate statement)
    • Committee Structure
    • Representation
  • All Units charged with one initiative/project

Equity and Inclusion Council

  • Chair or elected member serve on MCHHS Leadership Team
  • Requested to present/visit all unit faculty meeting to discuss the issues and look for college improvement suggestions
  • Continue to make recommendations for college improvement
  • Seek faculty wide initiative and trainings related to health care/medical practices etc.

Student Support

  • Student and faculty were invited to contribute to conversations on issues diverse students and faculty face on Twitter

Diversity and Inclusion Programming

  • Will be expanding a project to be more inclusive in classroom instructional practices. We will be utilizing best practices on accessibility, diversity and cultural competence to review teaching materials for all classes. Additionally, will be looking at adding a component to peer review process of teaching.
  • The programs in BMS will be reviewing policies and procedures with anticipated feedback from our diverse students in the programs on their perspective and ideas for updating. For example--- syllabi and advising/mentoring (undergrad and grad) practices to start.
  • Revamping our PTE 721 Professional Issues II course to help increase awareness and dialog about diversity.  This was suggested by one of our third-year (diverse) students.
  • Section added to ANE 810 Health and Wellness on Equity and Diversity
  • NUR 703 Population Health: A Local to Global Perspective “fosters development of advanced knowledge of health systems and social determinants of population health…The phenomena of cultural competence…will be explored.”
  • Utilize AACN recommendations for establishing a culturally competent Master’s and Doctorally Prepared Nursing Workforce including case studies and faculty tool kit
  • Add cultural competence and diversity content to NUR 734
  • Review of Department Syllabi for cultural competency and inclusive practices
  • Modify teaching Methods courses to reflect more understanding of inclusive practices (faculty lead project).
  • In the new Post Professional doctoral OT program, we have an elective course on diversity and health disparity which can be offered interprofessionally to other programs in college.
  • Include the cultural humility component in the assessment process of all the courses in the curriculum to ensure diversity and inclusion are included in the content and syllabus.
  • Update and modify: Capstone course, PSY 411 Psychology of Diversity. This is a core course and required for the major.
  • We will begin peer review in the FA 20 semester on a piloted basis with volunteer faculty and peer reviewers.  We have a small ($500) assessment grant to develop this process and it will include, as one component, how well the faculty member addresses issues related to diversity and inclusion.
  • Grant Submission: Several faculty collaborated to submit a grant to the Association for Psychological Science.  From the grant proposal “We intend to use this grant to initiate the development, piloting, evaluation, improvement, and implementation of a new one-credit, online course designed to prepare students for success in digital literacy, learning, and citizenship.
    • The PI will lead a diverse team including faculty, a hired graduate student, undergraduate students, and a professional instructional designer.  Based on extant research and local data, the course will feature experiential assignments that incorporate a self-regulatory framework, mentorship, and professional identity formation consistent with psychological science.
    • The team will mine years of assessment data to identify risk factors for online avoidance and underperformance.  For example, our talented African American students are half as likely to enroll in our online program, consistent with findings at many institutions (e.g., Shea & Bidgerano, 2015).  In addition to our work with students, we will work with advisors and online instructors to promote an “inclusive, accessible and flexible learning environment” (Yeboah & Smith, 2016).
    • Even if we are not awarded the grant we still will develop the course and proceed with implementation and data collection.

Communication Sciences and Disorders

  • This summer, Dr. Abdullah Jamos is participating in the workshop: The Humanity of Inclusive Practices. By his account, he is learning new ways to think about inclusion. I plan to ask him to present one of the best sessions at our retreat this fall.  Then, once a month at our faculty meetings, I will ask him to lead a discussion and direct us to information and materials that he found particularly valuable (the very best ones).
  • Investigating teaching materials that have elements of inclusion
  • Review Admission policies – Graduate Programs
  • The SLP clinic will continue the telehealth partnership with the International Leadership and Training Center at MSU developed by Deb Cron. Our students benefit through this opportunity to work with students from China.


  • Add diversity inclusion section to student orientation
  • Participation in Diversity committee for college by Faculty and presentation at each faculty meeting as a standing report
  • Integrate CCNE toolkit recommendations on cultural competency for baccalaureate programs into nursing courses using tools such as: Discuss case studies, journal articles, ethnographies, novels, or videos to:
  • Sensitize students to discrimination, oppression and unequal treatment of diverse groups
Potential ideas:

Occupational Therapy

  • Gordon Tsubira is taking part in AOTA diversity task force at the national level to advocate and educate faculty locally
  • Faculty encouraged to attend webinar series offered by American OT association and World Federation of OT.

William H. Darr College of Agriculture

  • Promoting and expanding the College Diversity and Inclusion Committee
    • Updating committee membership
    • Communicating with students about the committee and its objectives
    • Web site presence to promote our activities
    • Providing a budget to the committee to fund activities
    • Discussion item for 1st College Meeting in August to receive feedback
  • Recruiting diverse populations (students, faculty and staff)
    • Urban populations are not necessarily production ag oriented but programs like Companion Animal, PreVet and Horticulture may be attractive
    • Native American populations – e.g., Quapaw Nation of OK
    • International – China, Brazil, etc

Graduate College

Ad-hoc committee on inclusive admissions practices

  • Plan is to form this summer, in discussion with consultant.
  • Review literature on holistic admissions
  • Review data regarding applicants, admits, matriculants by race/ethnicity
  • Develop tools to assist programs in evaluating their applicant pools (associated marketing/recruitment strategies), admission criteria, nurturing strategies.

Partnerships to offer accelerated degree paths to students from HBCUs

  • Partner identifies degree paths desired
  • Courses to take online while still an undergrad are determined
  • Expected matriculation to MSU campus after undergrad completed
  • MOUs under review at Livingstone College (North Carolina) and Kentucky State
  • Discussions underway with Texas Southern, Coppin State University

MSU Libraries

Goal: Provide support for expanded, enhanced, and accelerated diversity, inclusion, and cultural consciousness initiatives at the Missouri State University Libraries. Focus on support for users of our content, services, and spaces, support for employees of the MSU Libraries (faculty and staff), and efforts to improve the services and content made available.

Student Support:

  • Do library services contain implicit cultural biases? In general, perhaps academic libraries are Eurocentric in the way we organize and provide access to information. What are we going to do about it?
  • Single-user restrooms that are not gender-specific:
  • Multilingual signage
  • Are the new furnishings culturally neutral?

Recruiting and hiring; Employee support and development:

  • Actively recruit diverse applicants for open positions
  • Efforts to improve the diversity of applicant pools
  • Cultural consciousness and anti-racism learning opportunities for library employees
  • Create a Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Council for the MSU Libraries.


  • Improve our collections in these important areas and topics related to diversity, inclusion, cultural consciousness, and anti-racism
  • Include fiction and non-fiction:
  • Checking of standard lists of recommended books
  • Approval plans
  • Faster processing of gifts of books in languages other than the principal European languages (English, German, French, Spanish).
  • LibGuides on several of these important topics related to anti-racism, cultural consciousness, and inclusion.
  • Lindsey Taggart and Tom Peters will lead this effort to make our content offerings more diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist.