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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

These three words are known to stir passionate debate in some while having a silencing effect on others. Everyone seems to have their own definitions of diversity, equity, and inclusion, but entering into that conversation with coworkers can be both uncomfortable and unpleasant. And as a result, we convince ourselves that all is well, avoiding the topic all together. But is that our best strategy?

The Department of Horticulture DEI Committee is not spoiling for a fight, looking to create problems where none exist, or force a certain mindset on anyone. Rather, our charge is to provoke thoughtful, respectful, and experience-based dialogue among faculty, staff, and students that focuses on the important issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Why? Because we strive to do better. We want to live up to our reputation as a safe and welcoming place, but also allow for the very real possibility that not everyone shares in that opinion.

Your DEI Committee invites you to join us on this journey. We don’t claim to have all of the answers, and maybe we don’t even know where we’re headed, but as the weeks unfold, we will learn things about ourselves and our colleagues that will either confirm our confidence and pride in this department and/or reveal areas for improvement.

Everyone is welcome to join the conversation and all respectful comments will have an audience.

We’ll see you on the road!

Jeff Iles, Professor & Chair
Department of Horticulture
Iowa State University

Department of Horticulture
DEI Committee Members

Dorothy Masinde – DEI Committee Chair
Ajay Nair – Professor
Catherine Swoboda – Associate Teaching Professor
Alicia Herzog – Extension Specialist II
Suzanne Slack – Assistant Professor
Saul Abarca – Assistant Teaching Professor

We would also like to invite you to submit comments, suggestions, or questions anonymously to the DEI Committee.
Please click below.

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