Jan. 31, 2013
CSU appoints new Chief of Diversity
White to focus on student success through multicultural programs
By Christina Sanders
Recently, Byron White, Ed.D, the vice president of university engagement, was appointed Cleveland State’s Chief of Diversity after the retirement of Dr. Njeri Nuru-Holm this past summer, who had previously served as the Vice President of Institutional Diversity since 1992.
White has been operating in the capacity of Chief of Diversity since the summer when Dr. Holm first retired. However, he was recently appointed to the position officially.
“The university decided that diversity efforts should be a part of university engagement,” White said.
White previously served as a vice chancellor for the Ohio Board of Regents and as associate vice president for community engagement at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He plans to build on Dr. Holm’s success in his new position by maintaining the programs that she set in place during her tenure and focusing on other challenges that go beyond just creating an atmosphere of diversity.
“Our challenge isn’t to be diverse. We want to build on her success,” White said.
White has come up with a Diversity Action Plan that is available to the public to ensure that Cleveland State maintains their commitment to diversity.
“We have three goals,” he said. “First, make sure that the two diversity councils (president’s council on diversity and the university diversity council) are accountable for carrying out the diversity plan.
”In addition to making sure the two councils are constantly working to carry out the plan he also wants to focus university’s efforts on retention and completion of degrees, especially for students of color. He also wants to add more multicultural programming on campus.
“We want to help students succeed,” White said.
One of the first multicultural programs that he’s overseeing is the opening of the “Mosaic House on 12,” which will be in Rhodes Tower.
“We want to create a space where students can come from across campus, and hope that faculty also come from all colleges come together as a resource,” White said.
White has worked at other universities that have shown a commitment to diversity, but he agrees that Cleveland State is the most multicultural university in the state.
“CSU has a great tradition and reputation of diversity. It is critically important to the university,” White said. “President Berkman has made diversity the corner stone of his administration.”