“How do we transform what we do in light of both how today’s students learn, but also WHO they are?” That was the provocative question asked by Interim Chancellor Devinder Malhotra last month when he spoke at a Luoma Leadership event. As we know, our classrooms are becoming more diverse, with new learners accessing higher education from communities that have traditionally had low participation rates in higher education.
To ensure student success, Chancellor Malhotra said we must align ourselves to new student demographics and the new workforce needed for our knowledge-based economy. He challenged all leaders to engage with underrepresented groups and embed themselves in their communities in order to accomplish our mission of serving all Minnesotans.
To do that, he advised that leaders not only learn about these communities, but that we learn with them and from them. Doing so will ensure that Minnesota’s businesses and industries will have the talented workforce they need so communities across the state can thrive.
During the month of March, we will explore the leadership competency: valuing diversity. As you can see from Chancellor Malhotra’s remarks, valuing diversity is not just a good thing to do, but it is a strategic imperative. We must transform what we do in light how students learn and WHO students they are. In Minnesota State, here are the key behaviors that leaders are expected to demonstrate in valuing diversity:
- Demonstrates inclusivity in work processes and work teams.
- Encourages and promote the diversification of our faculty, staff and student body.
- Actively seeks out and invites alternative viewpoints in planning, discussions, and decision making.
I invite you to join us in the conversation about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion this month.