Central question for the Council’s work: How might we improve inclusion and belonging for the students, staff and faculty working in and served by the Provost’s Office and its administrative and VP reporting units?


Purpose and Charge

  • Lead and collaborate with the GT community on issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in order to create a climate of belonging for every person affiliated with the Provost’s Office.
  • Identify and work on GT DEI Blueprint strategies in units of the Provost’s Office, address DEI issues with annual goals to achieve specific DEI outcomes, and raise awareness of these issues and strategies throughout units.
  • Act in an advisory capacity to the Provost, Dr. Steve McLaughlin. Outcomes will be documented and reported annually to Dr. McLaughlin, his leadership team, and across the Provost’s Office.


Initial Establishment of the Council

The inaugural Co-Chairs of the Provost’s Diversity Council will be Dr. Steven Girardot, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, and Amy Bass Henry, Executive Director of International Education.  The Office of the Provost will issue a call for nominations from among the Provost’s Office units. 


Council Members

The Council will include a chair or co-chairs; 8-12 staff and faculty; and 4 students (2 undergraduate and 2 graduate; specifically, students who work in a unit of the Provost’s Office). View the list of council members.

Among the faculty/staff members, the Council will ensure representation of at least 1 person from each VP unit, from C21U, and from the central Provost’s Office staff. (For the VP units that report to the SVPEL role, this will include the VPUE, VPGPE, and CTL).

In addition to the appointed members, two positions in the Provost’s Office will serve as Ex-Officio members: Director of Human Resources and another position from the central Provost’s office staff (who will be determined). 

All Council members should demonstrate a sustained record of commitment to and action on behalf of diversity, equity and inclusion.


Voting and Decision Making

Typically, the Council will use a consensus approach to making decisions about recommendations and actions. All members of the Council (including ex officio members) have voting privileges when and if matters arise that necessitate a vote. 


Recruitment and Terms of Appointment

Members are appointed by the Provost based on nominations and self-nominations submitted to the Co-Chairs.

Members serve a two-year term, renewable for a third year with the approval of the Member, the Supervisor of the Member, the Vice Provost (or equivalent leadership role) for the Member’s area, and the Council Chair(s). After serving a maximum of three years, a member will roll off the Council for a period of at least two years.

The Council encourages former Council members and all community members to use their knowledge and skills to serve as ambassadors of DEI efforts in their units and networks, and to assist this Council and others in our community in an advisory capacity and on special efforts as needed.

Co-chairs are appointed for 2-year terms, also by the Provost.

In the initial year, members will be randomly appointed for variable terms of 1 or 2 years. Subsequent appointments will all be for 2 years in order to achieve a turnover of approximately 1/2 of the Council’s membership each year.

All appointments follow a fiscal year term and begin on July 1 and conclude on June 30 (except for the first year in 2022, when appointments are anticipated to begin June 1, 2022).  

Recruitment for each new year begins in the spring for the subsequent fiscal year appointment.  When a vacancy occurs during a term, the chair(s) will work with the area represented to replace this member to complete the term. (For example, if the vacating member was a staff member within VPEM, efforts will be made to replace the member from among VPEM staff).


Funding and Council Support

The Council will request funds from the Office of the Provost to support programming and initiatives in the annual budget planning cycle. Reporting units may also align annual budget requests with Council initiatives when appropriate.

The Provost shall appoint a staff member from the Provost’s Office to be designated as the administrative support person for the Council, who can handle scheduling full Council meetings, events reservations, and provide other administrative assistance.


Examples of Possible Initiatives and Engagement by the Council:

  1. Encourage participation in GT DEI-related activities such as:
    • Diversity Symposium
    • Diversity Speaker Series (e.g., Hispanic Heritage Month Lecture)
    • Diversity Fellows
    • Transformative Narratives
    • Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
    • Inclusive Leaders Academy
    • Activities offered by Provost’s Office units
  2. Creating and executing annual, unit-level (Provost’s Office) DEI action plan that supports a longer, multi-year DEI plan.  
  3. Meeting with External Review Committees before and after a unit of the Provost’s Office completes an external review.
  4. Nominating Provost’s Office employees or units for DEI awards or other recognition
  5. Listening Sessions
  6. Raising Awareness in DEI areas that the group identifies as focus points
  7. Reviewing climate assessment findings at unit level (Provost’s Office)
  8. Supporting division and unit level climate assessments
  9. Spearheading and promoting DEI -focused professional development
  10. Spearheading panel discussions or dialogues around pressing social issues
  11. Supporting mitigation of bias in search processes
  12. Increasing DEI related research and funding
  13. Identifying opportunities to increase inclusion and belonging, and recommending solutions