September 29, 2004
04-126

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Joseph C. Agbasi Student Assistant

VSU Administrators Strive to Achieve Excellence in Diversity

VSU President Dr. Ronald M. Zaccari, university administrators, as well as members of the Dean's council, participated in a seminar conducted by trainers from the National Multicultural Institute (NMCI) in the Rose Room of the University Center on Sept. 21 and 22.

The two-day training consisted of a planning session to initiate the integrating of a diversity strategy into the university's strategic plan. The workshop also included a training session dealing with the baseline building of cultural competencies. This segment provided those in attendance an opportunity to further support and familiarize themselves with the Diversity Training Council.

The creation of the Diversity Training Council expanded the team from three trainers to 27 trainers and lead learners consisting of administrators, staff, faculty, and students. Maggie Viverette, Acting Assistant to the President for Equal Opportunity Programs and Multicultural Affairs (EOP/MA) said, ?This expansion has greatly enhanced the availability of diversity training for members of the campus community.? The trainers completed an intensive four-day training session in May and immediately began to coordinate training workshops for various VSU organizations.

The facilitators of the two-day workshop were Lead trainer Manny Brandt and Trainer Karen Trader-Leigh from the National Multicultural Institute. According to NMCI's website, their mission is to work with individuals, organizations, and communities in creating a society strengthened and empowered by its diversity.

?The National Multicultural Institute serves as a wonderful resource for our campus diversity efforts and their training provides participants an opportunity to identify all of the facets of diversity,? Viverette said. ?In addition, participants also discuss the factors that make appreciation of cultural diversity a necessity for growth and success.?

The mission of the EOP/MA is to promote and sustain an environment of diversity, equity, respect, and inclusiveness for all members of the university community through education, intervention, compliance, training, assessment, programming, and support services. The office works to promote and advance the efforts of the university towards adhering to the laws of the country and state regarding equal opportunity, affirmative action, as well as developing and sustaining a diverse learning, living, and working environment. EOP/MA also assists in the recruitment and retention of students from diverse cultures.

For more information about the EOP/MA workshops or seminars, visit their website at http://www.valdosta.edu/eopma">http://www.valdosta.edu/eopma or call (229) 333-5463.