Faculty Senate welcomed the provost, the special assistant to the president and the chief research officer March 7, to make recommendations and discuss campus issues during their weekly meeting.
Provost Gene Bourgeois and Special Assistant to the President Lisa Lloyd attended this week’s meeting as part of the President’s Academic Advisory Committee. Major concerns about the duties of the Chief Diversity Officer were evoked last week, and came up once again in front of the provost and the special assistant.
According to Bourgeois, the position known as the Chief Diversity Officer is relatively new. Originally, it was only known as the Director of Equity and Access before Title IX coordinator and Chief Diversity Officer were added during ex-Chief Diversity Officer Gilda Garcia’s second 10-year contract.
Lloyd said most of the duties listed are actually similar, stating for example that the first six duties are all related to diversity and inclusion while others are not very time-consuming.
“It looks hard on the surface but there is overlapping. The CDO is essentially running the Equity Office and if the house is in order, then we have a strong foundation,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd said the CDO is mostly there to motivate, guide and inspire faculty, staff and students to carry out strategies of inclusion.
Walt Horton, chief research officer, answered senators’ questions about delays in the Institutional Review Board process. The delays in the approval of research grants by the IRB was another important concern voiced by senators in past weeks.
Horton said the office experiences a peak period where too many applications are sent in simultaneously and cause the office to fall behind.
To resolve this problem, the IRB is planning on being more responsive and timely by re-engineering the website with newer data and the application web portal.