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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is responsible for the oversight of the University's policies, initiatives, and strategic goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and guides the Board's own work in this space.

Committee Members, 2020-2021

  • Alan L. Meltzer, Chair
  • Gaurdie Banister Jr., Co-Vice Chair
  • Maril Gagen MacDonald, Co-Vice Chair
  • Gary M. Abramson
  • Gina F. Adams
  • Marc N. Duber
  • Hani M.S. Farsi
  • Thomas A. Gottschalk
  • Mehdi Heravi
  • Michael W. Kempner
  • Margery Kraus
  • Gerald Bruce Lee
  • Jeffrey A. Sine
  • Elizabeth A. Worden, Faculty Trustee
  • Benjamin M. Holtzman, Student Trustee
  • Anusha S. Mannam, Student Trustee-Elect

Resource Persons

Cabinet Members:
Vice President of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence
Campus Representatives:
Alumni Association
Faculty Senate
Graduate Leadership Council
Staff Council
Student Bar Association
Student Government

CHARTER

Purpose

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is responsible for working with the board and the administration in eradicating systemic racism, biasof any kind, and ensuring that we strive to be a university free from discrimination.

Organization

  1. Membership/Structure. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee shall consist of four or more trustees appointed by the Trusteeship Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees. The chair and vice chair(s) of the committee shall be appointed by the Trusteeship Commiottee and approved by the Board of Trustees. The chair of the committee shall be a member of the Executive Committee.
  2. Staff Designee. The Vice President for Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence shall be responsible for staffing the committee. 
  3. Meetings. Meetings shall be held in conjunction with regularly scheduled meetings of the board, or as deemed necessary by the chair of the committee.
  4. Agenda, Minutes, and Reports. The chair of the committee, in collaboration with the staff designee, shall be responsible for establishing the agendas for meetings of the committee. An agenda, together with relevant materials, shall be sent to the committee members in advance of each meeting. Minutes for all meetings shall be prepared in draft form by the staff designee and reviewed by the chair and shall be approved by the committee members at the following meeting. The general session minutes shall be available for review by any member of the Board of Trustees. The closed executive session minutes shall be available for review by any voting member of the Board of Trustees. The committee shall make regular reports to the Board of Trustees.
  5. Review of Charter. The committee shall conduct a self-assessment and review its charter on a periodic basis, or as required by board policy.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is charged with supporting and monitoring the university's key strategic efforts related to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. The committee leads the board's engagement on emerging issues, sets priorities, and provides guidance to the Board of Trustees on the design and implementation of actibvities and resources to help trustees gain the cultural competency skills necessary to meet the needs of and reflect the diverse university community they serve.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is responsible for enhancing diversity, eliminating racial and other bias and its impact in the AU community environment, and addressing any barriers to equity and inclusion.

Guided by the university's Statement of Common Purpose, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is responsible for considering the effects of university policies and programs on the university community, in order to ensure a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will:

  1. Oversee the development and implementation of educational programming for the board members related to racism, especially issues of structural or systemic racism, in the United States and its continuing effects within higher education and the university.
  2. Work with the Trusteeship Committee to assess the board's make-up and advocate for balance in its overall diversity and leadership.
  3. Develop a board governance action plan, for approval by the Board of Trustees, for addressing racism and other institutional barriers to equitable access. This plan will include active oversight of the university's progress against its Inclusive Excellence Plan--including, but not limited to, regularly reviewing and auditing activities, policies, practices, and metrics.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will monitor the demographics in hiring, promotions, and conditions of all employees. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and the full board will request and review such annual reports or other reports on the demographics of our staff and faculty as requested by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and the board.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, working with the administration, will monitor university spending with Minority Business Entreprises and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and review and comment on such annual reports as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee may request from the administration.

4. Regularly evaluate and communicate to the board relevant unfiltered information about the current status, changing needs, and future concerns related to the experiences of under-represented groups in the American University campus environment.

5. Encourage board members to commit to demonstrating racial and social justice policies and initiatives in their own businesses and voluntary assignments.

Updated October 2020