A unique and effective group focused on guiding Clemson toward a more welcoming, safe and inclusive environment added more than 20 new members in the latest example of Clemson’s drive for inclusive excellence.

A group of women sit in a classroom working on laptops

Members of the Clemson University Council for Diversity and Inclusion work together during a meeting, April 3, 2019.

The Council for Diversity and Inclusion (CUCDI) was created in April 2017 as part of the University’s holistic approach to embrace and promote an inclusive environment for higher learning. The council includes voices from every corner of the campus and the greater Clemson community and is co-chaired by Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Robert Jones and Chief Inclusion Officer and Special Assistant to the President for Inclusive Excellence Lee Gill.

“A rotation of members is built into the Council’s structure. Membership changes as new leaders emerge across the University and in the community. Several newly appointed members also serve in diversity and inclusion roles within their respective areas,” said CUCDI program manager Karon Donald. “It’s a great thing because over the last few years a greater number of people have become interested in diversity and inclusion initiatives and are driven to do the work.”

In addition to 16 new members filling previously existing CUCDI seats, new seats added to the council include:

  • Marjorie Campbell – CCIT
  • Yianna Kappas – Development and Alumni Relations
  • Kathy Woodard – Public Service and Agriculture
  • Terri Bruce – Research
  • Patrick Cato – LGBTQ+ Alumni Council
  • Rosy Vazquez – Hispanic and Latinx Alumni Council
  • Angela Nixon – University Relations 

The program is steered by six affinity-focused commissions at Clemson: the Accessibility Commission, the Commission on the Black Experience, the Commission on Latino Affairs, the LGBTQ Commission, the Veterans Commission and the Commission on Women.

The Council, which meets once a month, has a shared governance infrastructure allowing for input from a cross-section of people from the campus and the surrounding community. According to the Council’s bylaws, “The membership of the Council shall be limited enough to produce an efficient, dynamic working group, but broad enough to be a represented cross-section of the University’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and area community leaders.”

Deans from all seven colleges, the Libraries and leaders from athletics, human resources, financial affairs and operations, the University divisions and several other stakeholders appoint representatives who serve on the council alongside community leaders from the Pickens County NAACP, the president of the Urban League of the Upstate and the president of Hispanic Alliance. President James P. Clements and Chief of Staff Max Allen are ex-officio members.