Pittsburg State University has announced that the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will move from the purview of Academic Affairs into Student Life, as well as that the office’s director Deatrea Rose will be promoted to assistant vice president for student life-senior diversity officer.
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, according to their webpage, seeks “to enrich the academic, cultural, and social development of diverse students and to cultivate a culture of respect, understanding, and awareness among the entire PSU community.” The announcement comes on the heels of the university announcing a new diversity initiative by way of a campus climate study open until Nov. 6.
“One of our immediate goals is to have every person – that includes faculty, staff, administrators, and students – on our campus complete the university campus climate survey,” Rose said. “The results of this survey will guide our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council on the development of a University Diversity Strategic Plan. Our goal is to listen, learn, and gather information that will guide our campus in building a plan that is workable for all as we focus on academic excellence, student success, building and sustaining partnerships throughout campus and in our Pittsburg community, as well as continuing to be an innovative campus.”
Rose is a two-time graduate of PSU, earning both a bachelor’s degree in general studies in 1996 and a master’s degree in educational leadership. She is also working on a dissertation to complete a doctoral degree in higher education administration. Additionally, her family is connected to PSU. Her daughter Courtlynn graduated in Spring 2020 and is now an admissions counselor at Fort Hayes State University.
“As the Senior Diversity Officer, I want to be accessible to all,” Rose said. “I want to listen, learn, and partner with various campus groups and departments to build on our already successes. I want to identify best practices in student outreach and recruitment, orientation and retention, student leadership and career development, as well as assist in the recruitment and retention of our faculty and staff, which will improve our institutional outcomes.”
Rose also said that the move to Student Life was about repositioning the focus of the Office’s resources.
“I believe administration worked together to realize that positioning diversity and inclusion in Student Life aligns the resources we offer closer to the day to day services we can provide students in their co-curricular experience,” Rose said. “Additionally, the ability to engage with our faculty and staff in a capacity to impact our students’ learning and experiences and overall outcomes only aid in the university’s overall retention efforts.”
Rose in her new position will report directly to vice president for student life Steve Erwin who also works with campus activities, campus recreation, university housing, university police, the Overman Student Center, student health services, the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, the Student Legal Resource Center, the campus victim advocate and university counseling services.