Çiftçi Selected As Diversity Fellow For College of Education

Ayşe Çiftçi

Ayşe Çiftçi

In an effort to enhance our efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion in the College of Education, Nancy Marchand-Martella, the Suzi and Dale Gallagher Dean of Education, appointed Ayşe Çiftçi (eye-SHAE chief-T-CHE), professor of counseling psychology, to the new role of diversity fellow. The position, which Çiftçi will head for the 2020-2021 academic year, will help develop more initiatives to educate and collaborate with faculty, staff and students to create a community that pursues racial justice and equity.

The College leadership team began this self-reflective work through reading programs over the summer to identify and review existing policies and create a more anti-racist and inclusive environment. As part of that work, Marchand-Martella has allocated $40,000 to be used toward these diversity initiatives this academic year. These allocated funds will be coordinated by Çiftçi with input from key stakeholders including Floyd Craig, director of the Office of Diversity Initiatives, the Equity and Diversity Committee, and others within the College of Education to work toward sustainable and long-lasting efforts.

Çiftçi created a proposal for this year’s plans moving forward, with several important diversity initiatives to raise awareness and educate faculty, staff, and students. With the proposal comes initiatives to review, revise and monitor the progress and attention to diversity and inclusivity.

“As our College responds to racial justice, it is clear that we need to critically self-reflect and examine new ways to work together to dismantle racism.”

The new proposal features weekly meetings with Marchand-Martella and key stakeholders to address racial justice practices and to ensure that there is an open forum and space for faculty, staff and students to be heard without judgment or fear. The College will continue its long-term inclusive work to create a more informed institution for all.

“In an effort to work toward a justice-oriented society, our administrative council engaged in dialogues around equity, diversity, and inclusion,” said Nancy Marchand-Martella. “These efforts may focus on providing educational opportunities, creating spaces for racial conversations and responsiveness, facilitating discussions around advocacy, and developing strategies to take action.”

Multiple leadership efforts will be rolled out by the diversity fellow, including a learning-based retreat early in the spring 2021 semester for members of the College, stakeholders from the Office of Diversity Initiatives; Equity and Diversity Committee; underrepresented minority (URM) faculty, staff, and students; and URM community members, alumni, and guests from other colleges and units.

In addition to the retreat, regular meetings and a reading program featuring discussions on racial justice will be held. Improvements will be made to the College website to better address the diversity and inclusion plans.

Meetings with URM faculty, staff and students will be held throughout the academic year to ensure these efforts are upheld and will have a lasting impact.