History of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
In 2012, the Board of Trustees and Harper College's fifth president, Dr. Kenneth Ender,
began prioritizing the assessment and evaluation of Harper's performance through key
indicators called Institutional Effectiveness Measures (IEMs). These measures aligned
with the mission and vision of Harper and included the needs and expectations of the
College's internal and external stakeholders. The IEMs assessed the quality of the
institution in eight categories, including employee diversity. Dr. Ender and the Board
members desired to convey to the employees and external stakeholders that they valued
diversity. Harpers' leaders were aware of the changing demographics of the community
and wanted the demographics of the employees to mirror the diversity of the evolving
community. During this time, Harper's stakeholders from diverse backgrounds were engaged
in candid and revelatory conversations. Dr. Ender also tasked twelve faculty and staff
members with strategizing the prioritization of diversity and inclusion campus-wide.
Dr. Avis Proctor picked up the torch in 2019 when she became Harper's sixth president.
One of her first priorities was establishing an executive cabinet level diversity,
equity and inclusion role. She has advanced the mission and vision of a diverse, equitable,
and inclusive institution by implementing campus-wide goals and priorities for addressing
and minimizing systemic barriers for historically underrepresented, underserved, and
marginalized communities. As a result, Harper College continues progressing towards
a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable campus. Please review the timeline for a
deeper look into Harper's transformational diversity, equity, and inclusion journey.
Harper’s DEI Timeline:
Harper’s DEI Awards and Recognitions:
- Recipient of the 2017 and 2018 INSIGHT into Diversity Higher Education Excellence
in Diversity (HEED) Award.
- 2017 Equity and Diversity Award – Illinois Community College Trustees Association.
- 2017 Central Region Equity Award – American Community College Trustees Association.
(excerpt from A Way Forward: Report of the President's Task Force on Diversity, Equity