Kellogg Inclusion Coalition (KIC) Update

(September 15, 2020)

Dear Kellogg Inclusion Coalition (KIC),

Greetings from Evanston! It is my hope that this message finds each of you in continued safety and good health. I write to provide a brief update regarding our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts at “your” Kellogg School of Management for the month of August.

The world around us continues to issue tragic reminders of why the fight for equality is one that all leaders must embrace. The recent shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin of Jacob Blake, a Black man with strong ties to the Evanston community, has once again amplified the anxiety many people feel. Consequently, Kellogg community members continue to ask what institutional efforts are being undertaken to combat racial injustice. Suffice it to say, the required societal and institutional changes cannot transpire fast enough. Kellogg is taking action on a number of fronts (e.g., development, curricular, co-curricular, extracurricular, data, communications, recruitment) in order to advance the sense of belonging, respect, and support experienced within our community.

Here are just a few of the valuable things that occurred last month:

First, the Human Capital and Faculty Affairs teams partnered with my office to begin our preparations to issue a climate survey in October. The instrument will go out to all staff, faculty and students who are benefits eligible. Please, complete the survey and encourage your peers to do so as well! The data we collect will be confidential and influential in targeting initiatives going forward. Our ability to pursue an effective data driven DEI approach is contingent upon having access to the best possible information. So, help the school to help you!

Second, KIC member Aubyn Keefe (Director of Content for Kellogg Integrated Marketing Communications) has created the first iteration of the KIC’s communication plan. Her efforts have presented the coalition with a great foundational framework for sharing information and promoting priorities across multiple channels (e.g., email, website, Kellogg Magazine, Kellogg Insight, blogs, podcasts). Aubyn, the coalition is grateful for your work on its behalf!

Third, community members have strongly expressed their interest in having a faculty with greater racial and ethnic diversity, and we are working to address that interest across our tenure-line, clinical, and adjunct faculty groups. We initiated conversations with several highly qualified and accomplished under-represented minority professionals regarding the prospect of potentially serving as adjunct faculty members. I am also pleased to report that Kellogg welcomed a new tenure-line faculty member this summer who hails from an under-represented minority group (Professor Ivuoma N. Onyeador in Management and Organizations). We are excited about the contributions Ivy will make as a Kellogg faculty member!

Fourth, the school has continued to act on students’ interest in having greater racial, ethnic, and gender diversity within the keynote speakers for major events. Most recently, Liliahn Majeed KSM ’05 (Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, National Basketball Association) served as the opening keynote speaker for the full-time MBA program Complete Immersion in Management (CIM). Furthermore, the second year returning MBA students will hear a keynote address from Wendy Lewis KSM ’95 (Chief Global Diversity Officer and Vice President of Community Engagement, McDonald’s Corporation).

Finally, the first Black Leadership Speakers Series event will take place on October 16th. The speaker for that evening is Shundrawn Thomas, who is the President of Asset Management at Northern Trust. He will discuss the importance of deliberately developing one’s self and a growth mindset. Further details regarding the event are forthcoming.

Kellogg is navigating a turbulent environment and making good things happen because of your efforts. Thank you for your passion, tenacity, creativity, and collaboration.