Indiana State University Newsroom

University announces increased commitment to diversity

September 16, 2015

Indiana State University administrators Wednesday announced an increased commitment to diversity-related activities which includes a restructuring of operations as the result of recommendations that came from a six-month climate study conducted by an outside consultant and an internal task force.

"The university is increasing its commitment and investment in diversity," said Indiana State President Dan Bradley. "The responsibilities of the current Office of Diversity will be divided among two new functions - the Office of Multicultural Services and Programs within Student Affairs and the Special Assistant to the Provost for Inclusive Excellence role in Academic Affairs. This new structure should result in increased programing, training and policy development around diversity-related issues that will help advance our efforts to create an environment of inclusive excellence on our campus."

Bradley expressed his confidence in the two vice presidents to whom diversity functions will report - Provost Mike Licari and Vice President for Student Affairs Willie Banks as well as Nolan Davis, special assistant to the provost for inclusive excellence and Elonda Ervin, who will serve as executive director of multicultural services and programs.

"Each of these individuals has a proven track record in diversity and inclusion and I am confident they can take Indiana State's efforts in this area to a new level," said Bradley.

Banks noted that Ervin and the Office of Multicultural Services and Programs will occupy expanded space on the seventh floor of Hulman Memorial Student Union which will also include the Women's Resource Center and an LGBT Resource Center, both of which are new.

"This move is a clear indication of the university's commitment to expanding diversity programs and services," he said.

As the executive director of multicultural services and programs, Ervin will also oversee the LGBT Resource Center and will work collaboratively with the Charles Brown African American Cultural Center and the Women's Resource Center to promote academic excellence, student advocacy, and leadership through advising, intercultural education, and critical thinking.

The Special Assistant to the Provost for Inclusive Excellence will provide leadership for campus-wide efforts to develop a campus environment that appreciates diversity in all its forms. Davis will be responsible for supporting efforts to hire and retain a diverse faculty and staff including providing training to search committees and developing an action plan to enhance efforts to create a welcoming environment for all. He will chair the Council on Inclusive Excellence and be responsible for its annual report as well as periodic updates to the President's Cabinet. In addition, he will collaborate with others on faculty development, climate assessment, and developing academic partnerships related to diversity with external organizations.

Davis has extensive experience in diversity issues. He created a "Missing Voice" campaign to fund development of programs and student organizations to support underserved and unconnected student communities at Indiana State and launched "Your Voice Matters" sessions, open forums for student groups to speak out about their needs and ideas. He was also founder and lead fund-raiser for a black students' council, co-founder of the black faculty and staff caucus and women's development program.

In previous roles at Northern Illinois University, Davis was the university president's liaison for commissions on the status of minorities, women, the LGBT community, and a task force on the status of Asian Americans. He also served as a research associate on faculty and staff hiring practices and served on a statewide steering committee for the Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education.

Ervin is a certified diversity professional who served as director of Indiana State's Office of Diversity for the past four years and previously served as interim director of the Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center and served on the academic staff of Upward Bound at Indiana State, developing a course in Black Heritage Studies. She has also served Indiana State on the Black Leadership Committee, Society for Diversity, African American Alumni Council, provost's diversity task force committee and the President's Council on Diversity and on the Retaining African-American Students Committee and Minority Freshman Retreat Committee.

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or