Council Promotes Diversity Through University
During a recent brainstorming session of the Diversity Advisory Council (DAC), members put their heads together to identify diversity-related needs that are common to each of the University’s schools.
“It quickly became clear that building a highly talented and diverse pipeline of applicants for all of our schools is a shared commitment at our University,” says José Bahamonde-González, JD, associate dean for administrative affairs and compliance at the Francis King Carey School of Law and chair of the DAC.
The council developed the idea of a Universitywide open house for potential students. More than 1,000 people registered for, and over 700 attended, the April 13 event, which was coordinated by Michele Hayes, JD, LLM, director of admissions and student recruiting at the law school.
“The University open house was a huge success,” says Bahamonde-González. “The open house planning committee realized that, just by reaching out to many of the University System of Maryland institutions as well as other colleges and universities in Maryland, they would attract a highly diverse audience. Not only were we able to attract a large number of talented, diverse, and interested future applicants for all of our schools and academic programs, but as a team we succeeded in presenting and promoting the University as one University with seven schools—with diversity as one of its core values.”
The open house is just one way the DAC has been carrying out its mission of promoting diversity since the council was created by University President Jay A. Perman, MD, in 2011. Diversity is among the seven core values of the University’s 2011-2016 strategic plan.
According to its mission statement, the DAC, which has six staff and six faculty members (two students will be appointed in the future), makes recommendations to the University president that support the University’s “commitment to diversity and a culture of inclusion.” The council also enhances “the environment to ensure diversity is valued and inclusion becomes a guiding principle in every aspect of the University’s activities.”
“The establishment of the DAC,” says Bahamonde-González, “is clear evidence of President Jay Perman’s enlightened leadership and true commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion throughout every constituency of the University of Maryland, Baltimore.”
Starting next year, the DAC will take over as coordinator of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Recognition Awards, which are presented during Black History Month.
“The council looks forward to its work ahead supporting and promoting diversity-related events and initiatives in accordance with the University’s strategic plan,” Bahamonde-González says. “The DAC is truly honored to support and work directly with President Perman on this very important endeavor.”