Washington State University President V. Lane Rawlins has announced the creation of a university Commission on Race and Ethnicity, appointing 12 members to the new panel, most of whom were elected by faculty, students and staff.
The commission will serve as a forum for communicating issues, ideas and proposals on minority affairs to the university president, provost, vice president for student affairs, other executive officers, and the future vice president for equity and diversity. Members will advise university administrators on matters related to the advancement of faculty, staff and students of color.
It also will help develop and implement programs and procedures to increase opportunities for professional and personal success of people of color at WSU. Commission members will hold public meetings on campus during the fall and spring semesters and provide feedback to the president, executive officers and the university community.
Originally proposed by Rawlins last March, the new commission will consist of two undergraduate students, two graduate or professional students, one administrative professional employee, one classified staff member and three faculty members, all of whom have now been elected by their representative organizations. The commission appointees also include one WSU college dean and representatives of both the Pullman business community and public school system, each recommended by the local chamber of commerce and school district, respectively.
Undergraduate students elected to the commission by members of the Council of Multicultural Student Presidents and representatives of the Associated Students of WSU were Heather Maria Magana, a women’s studies and biology major who serves as a Coalition for Women Students senator; and Lurline Antes, a history major serving as president of the Filipino-American Student Association.
Elected to the commission as nominees of the Graduate Student Professional Association were Kelvin Monroe, a graduate teaching assistant in Comparative American Cultures, and Melissa Hussain, a graduate teaching assistant in the English department who has been active in several campus groups working for social justice.
Faculty Senate-elected commissioners were Carmen Lugo-Lugo, assistant professor of Comparative American Cultures, Mary Meares, assistant professor of communications, and Horace-Alexander Young, assistant professor of music and theatrical studies. Representing the university deans on the commission will be Judy Mitchell, dean and professor of the College of Education.
The university’s employees will be represented on the commission by Vivian Ruiz, international faculty immigration specialist and Joseph Oliver, admissions department program coordinator. Representing the Pullman community on the commission will be Ken Vogel, a downtown Pullman businessman. Serving as public school representative on the commission will be Craig Nelson, principal of Jefferson Elementary School in Pullman.
Student members will serve one-year terms with the option of a second year. All other terms will be three years. In addition, the newly approved vice president for equity and diversity and the vice president for student affairs will be ex-officio members.