In Case You Missed It: Diversity Task Force Report Offers Ideas For Supporting NASFAA’s Diverse Membership

Miss our recent report release from NASFAA’s Professional Diversity Caucus? In March this group submitted its final report to the Board, including a Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement which the Board voted to approve.

“NASFAA is always striving to ensure that diversity and inclusivity are exhibited within the organization,” NASFAA National Chair Eileen O’Leary. “To make sure we are always working toward this ideal, in the summer of 2014 NASFAA convened a Professional Diversity Caucus tasked with examining the diversity of NASFAA's membership and providing recommendations to the Board of Directors on how the needs of NASFAA's diverse membership can best be met.” 

Over the course of seven months, the Caucus requested feedback from NASFAA members and used that data to summarize the major areas of concern and craft a proposed diversity statement and suggestions for future action.

The Board voted in March to approve the Diversity Statement without changes, and post the statement to NASFAA’s website. The statement reads:

In support of its mission, NASFAA will pursue and promote, in principle and practice, the diversity and inclusion of its membership to represent the profession and the students we serve. NASFAA promotes a culture of diversity and inclusion by encouraging involvement and access regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, appearance, geographic location, professional level or institution type. 

The recommendations of the report were also reviewed. They are summarized as follows:

  • Expand the Demographic Information Related to Diversity. NASFAA should expand the information collected through NASFAA member profiles. Suggested additions include disability status, sexual orientation, and other questions that can be indicators of diversity.
  • Annual Conference. NASFAA should explore the feasibility of a future speaker at the National Conference on diversity and inclusion. In addition, it is also recommended that the Board challenge the National Conference Program Task Force to develop a diversity track of at least 10 sessions annually.
  • Research and Benchmarking. NASFAA should ensure that we develop and launch a survey or other instrument to determine how NASFAA can better engage minority-serving institutions. The Caucus recommends NASFAA create and use benchmarks to measure its diversity and inclusion efforts, and to use the information gathered to set future benchmarks. Depending on the information gathered, the organization will have the opportunity to consider whether NASFAA is accomplishing its mission statement, if its mission needs to be changed, or what steps to take to ensure the mission of the organization is upheld.

The Professional Diversity Caucus is comprised of the following members: 

  • Chair: Wayne Harewood, Director of Financial Aid and TAP Certifying Officer, Kingsborough Community College
  • Joan Bailey, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, St. Petersburg College
  • Isela Boehm, Associate Director of Financial Aid, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Alexis Brown, Financial Aid Director, BIR Training Center
  • Jessica Knox, Assistant Director for Student Financial Services , Wellesley College
  • Linnea Todd, Assistant Director/Workforce Education Advisor, Bellevue College
  • Robert Weinert, Jr., Financial Aid Specialist, Cuesta College
  • Commission Director: David Page, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Dillard University
  • NASFAA Staff Liaisons: Justin Draeger, Tiffany Gibbs, Jennifer Martin


Publication Date: 5/7/2015

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