Welcome Clyde Wilson Pickett

pickett.jpgMinnesota State is pleased to welcome Clyde Wilson Pickett, Ed.D as its Chief Diversity Officer. His background and experiences in higher education make him an excellent partner and leader to advance our agenda to foster diverse and inclusive ethos in our institutions; deepen our relationships with Minnesota’s Native nations and communities of color; and ensure healthy climates on our campuses to enable all students, faculty, and staff to thrive.

Pickett recently served as the special assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion at the community college system of Allegheny County, where he was the primary advisor to the president and directed diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, policies, programs, and processes across all its campuses. Previously, he was the director of multicultural development/director of new student orientation at Ohio Northern University.

Recognized as a national leader in diversity in higher education, Pickett is a member of the board of directors for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, the nation’s leading association of diversity professionals in the US. He is also the founder of two educational consulting firms that specialize in diversity training, strategic planning, program development, and management services. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, a master’s from Morehead State University, and a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh.

The Office of Equity and Inclusion consults, advises, trains, and provides policy development in the areas of equity, inclusion, diversity, equal opportunity, and affirmative action. The office provides programs and services to support its colleges and universities, as well as the system office. In addition, the office partners with communities, businesses, and civic and educational organizations to impact student success, procurement practices, and campus climate.

Programs and services focus on: 

  • Strategic diversity leadership
  • Program and professional development
  • Policy and compliance
  • Student success
  • Evaluation, assessment, and accountability
  • Community engagement

The Office of Equity and Inclusion ensures students, faculty, and staff in Minnesota State learn and work in environments that actively promote equity and inclusion. The values that guide our work include: access and opportunity, equity and inclusion, cultural competence, cultural responsive pedagogy & service, and community engagement.    

Our educational environments are culturally relevant, responsive, and innovative to the students we serve.

Our students are assets, we affirm their identities and lived experiences, and provide spaces that are emotionally safe and reflect who students are.

We are recognized and valued as thought-leaders on equity and inclusion and feel empowered to lead as experts in the field.

Our systemwide equity and diversity goals include: 

“The campus Chief Diversity Officer or CDO strengthens the college or university local and national leadership in advancing institutional diversity; maintains a balanced advocacy role between historic considerations of access and equity for students and the expanded portfolio of institutional transformation; establishes and maintains strong, effective collaborative partnerships with peers across the college or university; and develops partnerships and programs with diverse communities and constituencies across the region or state to respond effectively to their needs.” - Mark Emmert, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and former president of the University of Washington.

The CDO is an integrative role that coordinates, leads, enhances, and in some instances supervises formal diversity capabilities of the institution in an effort to create an environment that is inclusive and excellent for all. Within this context, diversity is not merely a demographic goal but a strategic priority that is fundamental to creating a dynamic educational and work environment that fulfills the teaching, learning, research, and service mission of postsecondary institutions (Damon Williams, 2012). For additional information on the strategy, structure, and change management of campus chief diversity roles, refer to "The Chief Diversity Officer" by Damon Williams and Katrina C. Wade-Golden.

Minnesota State campus CDOs strive to build strategic diversity capacity at the institutional level. Key competencies as defined by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education include:

  • Multidisciplinary appreciation of diverse cultures, communities, and histories that constitute American society.
  • Understanding of American traditions of democracy, active citizenship and how they serve as a means to understand and resolve conflicts linked to race, ethnicity, gender, and class.
  • Ability to describe the historical patterns and demographics of American society in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and class.
  • Ability to carry out an intellectual discourse with diverse peoples for the purpose of evaluating public policy and creating a shared vision for American society.
  • Development of problem-solving and analytical skills for diverse issues, with an understanding of the diverse American culture and the higher education field.
  • Knowledge of the origins and systemic nature of prejudice, discrimination, and oppression that has been directed toward people of diverse backgrounds and orientations.
  • Capacity to visualize public situations and issues involving diversity from multiple perspectives.
  • Understanding of current experiences and issues in the U.S. of different racial groups (including discrimination in all forms, experiences, and privilege).
  • Ability to think about race in the U.S. context of global diversity, patterns of prejudice, and equity.

Chief Diversity Officers can click here to access resources in Office 365 SharePoint. Remember to use your specific starid@minnstate.edu.

Commitment to Inclusive Excellence
More than an initiative or a short term approach, Inclusive Excellence informs every effort, aspect, and level of our work.

Inclusive Excellence re-envisions both quality and diversity. It reflects a striving for excellence in higher education that has been made more inclusive by decades of work to infuse diversity into recruiting, admissions, and hiring; into the curriculum and co-curriculum; and into administrative structures and practices. It also embraces newer forms of excellence, and expanded ways to measure excellence, that take into account research on learning and brain functioning, the assessment movement, and more nuanced accountability structures. In the same way, diversity and inclusion efforts move beyond numbers of students or numbers of programs as end goals. Instead, they are multilayered processes through which we achieve excellence in learning; research and teaching; student development; institutional functioning; local and global community engagement; workforce development; and more. -Williams, et. al (AAC&U)

Each year, the Office of Equity and Inclusion awards Inclusive Excellence grants to campuses with programs that demonstrate a measurable impact on access, opportunity, and success of students from underrepresented groups. Click here to view the 2016-2017 Inclusive Excellence awardees.