WGRN Staff Reporter, Ivy Lyons
GREENVILE, IL – Two candidates for the CDO position at Greenville University were on campus this week to meet with individuals and hold colloquia centered around diversity at the institution. They brought with them a diverse set of experiences, and history within the police force and other institutions of Higher Education respectively.
Greenville University’s Vice-President of Human Resources sent an email to the student body containing information on the two candidates that would be on campus.
“Rev. Terrell Carter currently is the Director of Contextualized Learning and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology for Central Baptist Theological Seminary. Most recently, he completed a Doctor of Ministry degree in Congregational Health… Rev. Terrell Carter currently serves as Lead Pastor at the Webster Groves Baptist Church and trained with the St. Louis police department, is an artist and published author.
His colloquium was anchored by his experience. As an officer with the St. Louis police department, as a published author, and as a minister, he brought forth a more relational component that we often see in the institution. Few students were in the room, as the colloquium was heavily attended by faculty and staff.
Now, a challenge that has been present at Greenville University, particularly within the administration over the course of the past years, has been the power of students and their voice. More specifically the ability of upper administration officials to hear students even when there is clear dissonance between the two voices.
When asked about this, Carter responded with his desire to hear from “everyone” with regards to the hypothetical situation.
Dr. Colette M. McLemore brings over 11 years of Diversity and Inclusion experience in higher education and is the Assistant Dean of Student and Alumni Affairs of University Missouri St. Louis’ College of Nursing. She previously worked at Saint Louis University College of Medicine, where she was the Director of Diversity Operations and was a Saint Louis University 2016 Woman of the Year. Dr. McLemore also was the Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She gained her doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration at Saint Louis University with a [dissertation topics on] The Impact that Church Affiliated Scholarships have on Persistence and Graduation Rates of African American College Students…”
In McLemore’s colloquium, we received a walk-through of her years of experience within higher education at pivotal points such as the death of Michael Brown, the beginnings of protests, the Black Lives Matter/All Lives Matter movements, and the intersection of diversity within her campus. In here colloquium, she discussed racial, religious, and gender diversity within the context of higher education. However, there was no mention of LGBT identities within the diversity of a campus like Greenville University – which is experiencing a growing amount of out LGBT individuals/students.
When asked about how she would integrate LGBT persons into her plan for diversity on a campus, she asked the room about support services and groups that students in the room audibly said didn’t exist on campus. She stated that she would be willing to work towards improving diversity throughout the entirety of the community.
Both of these candidates were well informed African American leaders in their own rights. As they proceed through this hiring process, their ideas and voices will, hopefully, be utilized by the greater Greenville Community to improve the lives of students, faculty, and staff.