Çiftçi Selected As Diversity Fellow For College of Education

Ayşe Çiftçi

Ayşe Çiftçi

The College leadership team, began this self-reflective work through reading programs over the summer to identify and review existing policies and create 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 an emphasis on holding Purdue University and especially the College of Education accountable in anti-racist practices and upholding direct response to racial injustice that faculty, staff and students of color have experienced on Purdue’s campus. With the proposal comes initiatives to review, revise and monitor the progress and attention to diversity and inclusivity.

“As our College responds to racial injustice, it is clear that we need to critically self-reflect and examine new ways to become anti-racist in a system that privileges whiteness,” said Çiftçi. “We are stronger when we work together to dismantle racism.”

The new proposal features weekly meetings with Marchand-Martella and key stakeholders to address anti-racist 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 anti-racist work to create a safer institution for all.

“In response to the continued racial injustice and inequities in our country and the leadership role that we must play in working 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 healing, facilitating discussions around advocacy, and developing strategies to take action.”

The diversity fellow position comes at a time when national and institutional racial inequalities have come to the forefront of safety and human rights concerns. As a result, it is paramount that Purdue University and the College of Education hold its faculty, staff and students accountable and work toward the larger goal of dismantling racism as a whole.

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 anti-racism and white fragility will be held. Improvements will be made to the College website to better address the diversity and inclusion plans. An anonymous racial bias and discrimination reporting platform for faculty, staff and students will also be added to the website.

Meetings and addresses 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.

Written by Lori Bowes