Upon her recent appointment as CMC's Assistant VP for Diversity and Inclusion, Nyree Gray discusses prospects, progress and challenges as she moves into her new role.
Q. Why is diversity and inclusion important to CMC?
A. Diversity and inclusion is an important part of the mission of the College. As we strive to develop responsible leaders it is imperative that we include education about intersectionality and identity.
Q. How does a diverse student body, faculty and staff all help to enhance the educational experience of CMC?
A. Diversity adds a variety of perspectives and experiences that enrich the educational experience. Everyone benefits from the added value.
Q. What are the most important elements in creating a diverse and inclusive environment?
A. The key focus should be on long-term sustainable progress. It is important that the environment reflects the core values of the institution and that the community is open to engaging issues of inclusion in an authentic way.
Q. What are some of the obstacles to increasing diversity and inclusion?
A. I think some people have misperceptions about diversity and inclusion, which prevent them from embracing change. I also think some key initiatives take time. Faculty diversity does not happen quickly but the framework and the opportunity for more inclusive pedagogy is an ongoing process.
Q. What are some of the most important things the College can do to increase diversity and inclusion?
A. 1. Constantly engage in self-assessment
2. Continue to create opportunities for community and dialogue
3. Continue to develop an institutional inclusion strategy
Q. What are some of your plans to accomplish more diversity and inclusion?
A. I will work with all constituencies within and external to the College to create more opportunities to engage on issues of inclusion. I will focus on faculty recruitment, curriculum development, admissions, and retention.