President Announces Members of Advisory Council on Diversity

Photo credit: Baylor Media Communications

By Liesje Powers Lariat Staff Writer

Following President Ken Starr’s proclamations in early December, a 13-member council has been announced for the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity (PACD).

The council was announced Jan. 15 after the announcement of the chair of the committee, Dr. Lori Baker, Faculty Regent, past chair of the Faculty Senate and associate professor of anthropology in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences, on Jan. 14 at the fall faculty meeting.

Originally stemming from the Provost’s Committee on Diversity, which is chaired by Professor Heidi Bostic, a council was seen fit to be created specifically for the understanding of racial, ethnic and gender diversity.

“[The Committee] [has] helped foster a robust conversation here at Baylor with respect to deepening our unapologetic Christian commitment to racial, ethnic and gender diversity,” President Starr said in an earlier campus-wide email.

The Provost’s Committee’s report had been under scrutiny from the Executive Council and the Faculty Senate for several weeks before the PACD was put into motion.

“These individuals were asked to serve on the council and selected by President Ken Starr. They represent a diverse group of leaders on campus and have been a part of faculty senate, staff council, staff government or other leadership groups on campus,” said Lori Fogleman, the assistant vice president for media communications.

The council includes students, faculty and staff. The involvement of all levels is intended to insure that all members of Baylor are made aware of any future decisions, as well as feel that they are able to participate in the process.

Students chosen for the council are Pearson Brown, Jonathan Siktberg and Erin Gaddis.

Brown is a senior professional selling major from Houston and currently serves as student body president.

Gaddis is a senior communications specialist major from Rowlett, Tx. She is also President of the NAACP Texas Youth and College Division.

Siktberg is a senior Business Fellow from Nashville, Tenn., and is the Student Regent, a high-level leadership position with the Board of Regents.

Professors selected for the committee are Dr. Andy Arterbury, associate professor of Christian Scriptures, Dr. Michael Beaty, chair and professor of philosophy, Dr. Victor Hinojosa, associate professor of political science in the Honors Program and Dr. Rishi Sriram, assistant professor and graduate program director in educational administration.

Staff members included in PACD are Juan Alejandro Jr., vice president for governance, risk and compliance and chief compliance officer, Ronald English, academic support advisor for referrals, Dominque Hill, assistant director of intramural sports, Tonya Lewis, assistant director of media communications and Callie Schrank, assistant athletics director of personnel and administration.

“To that end, it will be vitally important for all members of our community — students, faculty and staff — to enjoy the fullest opportunity to contribute their perspectives and insights as we seek collaboratively to identify the wisest path forward,” President Starr said.

The PACD will advise President Starr on steps to engage the campus and guide him in following the policies outlined in the Pro Futuris as Baylor progresses in matters pertaining to racial, ethnic and gender diversity.