Meeting Agendas

Meeting Notes & Attendance

The General Council meets on the third Thursday of every month.
Action Groups meet more frequently.

Shortened Meeting Minutes

February 17, 2022


Allen Hyde, Aselia Urmanbetova (she/her), Brad Rittenhouse, Chad Slieper, Daniel Matisoff, Dr. Mary McDonald, Georgia Persons, Jean Ippolito, Jillann Hertel (/DelTejo) (she/her), Katja Weber, LaDonna Bowen-Chavers, Laura Bier, Mayumi Cole, Molly Slavin, Nathan Moon, Neta Kanny (she/her), Priti Bhatia, Raine Sagramsingh, Richard Utz, Seymour Goodman, Tim Stoneman


  • Action Item for Council Members: New IAC Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Resource Website. Help out with any additional links and resources you can find and send them over to Richard Utz!
  • Action Item for Council Leadership: Request for Funding Form in Qualtrix.
  • Action Items (together with the Communications team):
    • Updates to IAC DEI Website
    • Anonymous Online Suggestion Box
    • Events focused on on-going conversation/dialogue with students 
  • Action Items on Language in Faculty Handbook Section 5.1:
    • Use “instructors and scholars” instead of “faculty” to avoid excluding such instructor groups as part-time lecturers and graduate student instructors.
    • Use “residents” or “part of citizenry” to avoid excluding those who are not naturalized citizens.
  • Action Items for Council leaders (Mary, Richard, Carol, Usha and Aselia) to reach across college boundaries to other DEI Councils to kick start a cross-college conversation.
  • Action Items for Council: “contemplate other ways that we can collectively and individually support a campus environment that models our values of inclusion and inquiry so we can bring that forward for debate in the Senate.”

January 20, 2022


Allen Hyde, Aselia Urmanbetova, Carol Colatrella, Chad Slieper, Chris Ippolito, Dan Matisoff, Denise Ward, Jason Borenstein, Jillann Hertel, Katja Weber, Kyle Poe, Laura Bier, Lindsey Bullinger, Mayumi Cole, Michael Terrell, Molly Slavin, Nathan Moon, Neta Kanny, Raine Sagramsingh, Seymour Goodman, Shatakshee Dhongde, Timothy Stoneman, Usha Nair-Reichert


Well-being Roundtable Discussion

Well-being Check Activity: How would you characterize the start of Spring 2022 in one word?

  • Responses: challenging, tiring, chaotic, sad, exhausting, complicated, strange, stressful, Normal!, busy, overwhelming and snowballing, optimistic and challenging, relieving? normal?, overwhelming, busy, not teaching thus semester.
  • Dan mentioned that he was happy to be back in-person and on campus, teaching in classrooms and having lively discussions.

As an introduction to Usha’s presentation and discussion of current mental health issues among college students, in general, and Georgia Tech students, specifically, Aselia pulled data from 2019-2020 Healthy Minds findings presented earlier to the Council. Notably, the data showed that in 2019-2020:

  • 100% of 1,556 respondents reported that they were bothered by thoughts of being “better off dead or hurting [themselves] in some way.”
  • 9% of respondents, or 140 students of the estimated sample of 1,556, made a plan to attempt suicide.
  • Question raised by Tim: would that differ by colleges? Preliminary data suggests that contrary to the general expectation that IAC students may fare marginally better than others, they, in fact, self-report similar, or even lower, levels of perceived well-being than students in other GT colleges.

Usha presented a set of slides with stark numbers on student mental health across US campuses (see slides for details).

  • She proceeded to report that including DEI and MH statements in syllabi is positively received by students – they felt safe and able to raise issues. Faculty shared that they put the DEI and disability statements and resources in their syllabi and Canvas course pages.
  • She asked how many of us include the DEI statements in our syllabi, nearly or all raised hands and posted in chat that they did.
  • She proceeded: how many of us include MH statement in our syllabi, some indicated that they did. She then charged the Council with the task of brainstorming how to convince faculty to include MH statements on their syllabi.
  • Katja mentioned that DEI statement was required at IAC by the previous Dean and if the current Dean provided a boiler plate, faculty are likely to follow. Action item.
  • Raine Sagramsingh suggested that discussing the statement in class is also useful, for a student perspective. Action item: include in recommendations for instructors.
  • In response to these questions, faculty have submitted many DEI statements that they include in the syllabi (see end of this document).
  • Allen mentioned that he thought about having a panel of young people who are advocates for mental health as a possible activity. Item to follow up on.
  • The group also highlighted the tension of the narrow set of responsibilities that faculty must adhere to, according to the Institute Handbook, that faculty cannot teach students anything outside of their narrow set of skills and expertise, yet at the same time they are expected to support students on such sensitive topics as mental health. Continued discussion would be beneficial: faculty well-being and equity.
  • It was reiterated a few times that faculty must not act as therapists or counselors but refer students to the campus resources. Shatakshee highlighted that the IAC satellite counselor Fran Exley is working closely with students and is open to connect and provide support ( Chad mentioned that Fran is coming to talk about life-work integration with pre-law students. Idea for Council, instructors, faculty groups to follow suit.
  • Chad also brought up the fact that faculty and staff are just as susceptible to mental health issues as students and their needs should also be included. Ironically, asking faculty to help students with MH issues may put those faculty who bear the burden of care into further emotional peril. Continued discussion would be beneficial: faculty and staff wellbeing and equity.
  • Allen Hyde pointed out that this is a structural issue and efforts should be focused on the whole community. 
  • Nathan, Aselia and Carol brought up how teaching hard topics (The Battle of Algiers, Eyes on the Prize, even impact of Covid) has become even harder at the risk of traumatizing students even further. Carol mentioned that she offered her students to watch disturbing material privately or skip it altogether. Instructors: learning how to assist students in engaging with disturbing, traumatizing content.
  • Jillann asked: Do we want students [include staff and faculty] to reach out to/know more about this Council in their College? Action item

November 18, 2021


Dean Kaye Husbands Fealing, Will Jimmerson, Carol Colatrella, Aselia Urmanbetova, Jyldyz Hughes, Katja Weber, Sy Goodman, Brad Rittenhouse, Georgia Persons, Mayumi Cole, Mary McDonald, Molly Slavin, Richard Utz, Chad Slieper, Jillann Hertel, Kyle Poe, Raine Sagramsingh, Nathan Moon, Daniel Matisoff, LaDonna Bowen-Chavers, Denise Ward, Melissa Foulger, Neta Kanny, Lindsey Bullinger, Tim Stoneman, Usha Nair Reichert, Allen Hyde


  • IAC DEI Funding
    • The Dean’s Office has received $5,000 in GTF Institute Support funds earmarked for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
    • The first project funded from this grant is the IAC Staff Listening Sessions, Building Community and Collecting Data, IACDEI R&R Staff Subcommittee. The listening sessions will take place in January 2022.
  • The next Coffee & Conversations with Dean Kaye is on November 30, 2021, from 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm.
  • The ADL Workshop on Dec 8th from 1-2 pm for DEI community has been organized by the Community Engagement group.
  • Members were also encouraged to apply for the Inclusive Leaders Academy.
  • The DEI committee will not meet on Dec 16th. Groups will instead submit their reports online. The next meeting will be on January 20th 2022 from 2 pm to 3 pm.

GT DEI Best Practices and Collaboration

  • a. Some committee members met with Prof. Mary McDonald, Advance Professor and Prof. Richard Utz, Associate Dean
  • b. Topics discussed for the committee’s consideration include:
    • Enhancing communications and transparency of the Council (with the communications action group)
    • Building connections with GT DEI leadership and DEI groups across campus
    • Summarizing GT DEI best practices
  • Supporting DEI capacity-building efforts, both across campus (driven by unit level engagement) and within the IAC
  • Including in DEI conversations not only the top DEI leaders, but also past and current DEI Fellows, Faces of Inclusive Innovation, Inclusive Leaders Academy Alumni, DEI committee members, groups, and activists
  • e. Supporting the work of the current GT DEI Fellows at IAC
    • A total 9 DEI Fellows are in IAC out of 33 total
    • Katja Weber requested for greater faculty engagement in her project: “How can we improve trust/confidence & make students & faculty from the Global South feel safe, welcome & empowered at GT?”

Updates from Action Groups

Climate Action Group

The group suggested reviewing the latest Climate Survey instrument. The members were interested in developing mechanisms to address marginalization and the perceptions of bias. This includes educating the community about the value of critical race theory, reducing marginalization of minority groups in our GT community, and improving our understanding about issues related to well-being and mental health. They also wanted to ensure that data on non-tenure track (NTT) faculty are reported in the new climate survey (this data was not included in the previous reports; this issue has since been resolved). It is also important to consider how we are going to manage in the new normal. Before creating an IAC DEI survey, the committee discussed asking Institute Diversity and Dr. Erwin about the forthcoming GT climate survey and whether IAC can add IAC-specific questions to the survey. Carol Colatrella will contact Dr. Erwin’s office about this. The committee also discussed how to address politically contentious issues in class. One suggestion was to seek assistance from CETL. An example of a politically contentious issue is the Critical Race Theory and the discussions about marginalization. Including CRT in the curriculum should be part of a GT-wide effort and not just an IAC effort. The Council could consider engaging with other units to develop grass roots support. The Council discussed piloting this, possibly through developing a workshop over the summer, and then refining and opening it up to the rest of GT. Speaking with Dean Raheem Beyah (COE) would be a good step in this direction. Dan Matisoff will take the lead on this. Other suggestions included hosting small conversations about difficult subjects, continuing consultations with CTL and IDEI, exploring the King Center Training and inviting Frances Exley, the IAC Satellite Counselor, to speak with the IAC DEI committee.

Communications Action Group

  • This group identified their goal as enhancing communications and transparency of the Council through the following measures:
  • Sharing any DEI campus-wide events or programs to the college (assuming GT DEI have a calendar)
  • Submitting monthly updates in the Dean’s Newsletter on the current workings of the Council
  • Creating a page on IAC DEI website describing the standard protocol for funding requests to the Council
  • Uploading meeting agendas and reports to the website on a regular basis to enhance transparency
  • Establishing standard communication channels and mechanisms for submitting final recommendations to the Deans Office and other units
  • Publishing council's year-end recommendations to the Dean/Units on our website would help strengthen the sense of transparency, accountability, and enhance IAC's ability to attract and retain URM candidates and colleagues

Community Engagement Action Group

This group suggested a World Cafe format for discussions and also promoting and supporting the Black Media Spring Events. The DEI Council would support Asian-American and Pacific Islanders events during April-May, 2022. The group would also reach out to DEI (to identify Black Media Studies faculty) and the LGBTQIA Center, and also help find speakers for AAPI event(s) in April-May. The group also suggested inviting GTPD to speak at one of our DEI meetings. Usha will take the lead on this.

October 21, 2021


Aselia Urmanbetova, Jyldyz Hughes, Katja Weber, Sy Goodman, Brad Rittenhouse, Georgia Persons, Mayumi Cole, Mary McDonald, Molly Slavin, Richard Utz, Chad Slieper, Jillann Hertel, Kyle Poe, Raine Sagramsingh, Nathan Moon, Daniel Matisoff, LaDonna Bowen-Chavers, Denise Ward, Melissa Foulger, Neta Kanny, Lindsey Bullinger, Tim Stoneman, Usha Nair Reichert, Allen Hyde


Thanks to Aselia for agreeing to serve in 2021-22 as the DEI Council Chair and to Usha for agreeing to serve in 2021-22 as the DEI Council Vice Chair. Chad and Carol will serve this year as advisors to the leadership. Next year the council will be able to follow the succession plan outlined in our Governance document.  In 2022-23, Usha will become Chair, Aselia will serve as advisor, and we hope a current member will agree to serve as Vice Chair. 

On Wednesday, December 8, 1-2pm, the IAC DEI Council will sponsor an ADL-organized virtual anti-bias workshop for council members that will be different from last year’s. More info TBA. Thanks to the dean’s office for supporting this initiative.

Chair’s Report

Aselia reviewed slides explaining her aims for council activities. She encouraged members to work with their group and other council groups to develop council-only and college-wide events and workshops, to determine college needs and analyze issues, and to propose specific initiatives. Groups should aim to complete their work by April-May 2022.

She also explained her plans as a chair: to meet with GT DEI leadership and councils in order to see what other councils are doing, to determine best practices for the college and council, and to collaborate if possible with other councils. Mary McDonald noted that as ADVANCE professor she is working with the other ADVANCE professors and leadership to incorporate DEI into the GT Strategic Plan.

Aselia added that she will consult with DEI leaders at other institutions, including Virginia Tech, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon to survey their best practices.

Action Groups reported on plans

See membership of groups.

Climate—Carol responded that the group had not met yet, but that there is significant concern on campus about recent BoR and USG reforms concerning post-tenure peer review and adding student success to faculty evaluations for NTT and TT faculty. She noted that the Faculty Senate, central administration, and others are working on the GT response, as the provost reported, but she wondered what IAC DEI Council members were thinking.

Mary suggested that we could consider how the recent reforms would affect women and persons of color, mentioning that the ADVANCE professors are concerned about continuing inequalities and are considering interventions. Denise mentioned that faculty should use existing channels of communication. Dan stated that he is not sure how the PTR and student success reforms will be implemented. He Is concerned about the BoR’s power to use these changes to reduce diversity, equity, and inclusion. Nathan asked if these reforms will affect NTT faculty in the same way. Chad mentioned that the faculty voice in governance seems to have been reduced over time. Aselia indicated that the IAC DEI council should work to develop more information to support college community and other initiatives designed to improve DEI.

Communication & Community Engagement—Jillann wondered if Teams offers the best method of communication. Aselia suggested using chat in Teams to communicate and storing files in the Teams channels. Slack will be phased out by GT.

Governance—Aselia reported on the group’s plans to update bylaws, to improve the process of recruiting new members, to review school handbooks for their mention of DEI, and to prepare recommendations for school leadership.

Curriculum—Neta indicated the group will meet soon and will share information about faculty development grants to make courses more inclusive and to organize tools and resources for curriculum design. Katja mentioned that the Atlanta Global Studies Center announced a call for proposals. Other units offering assistance or support include Serve-Learn-Sustain and the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Recruitment and Retention Sub-groups

Staff—Jyldyz reported on the group’s plans to solicit information about the issues important for administrative and academic staff. They plan a climate assessment and will develop recommendations. They also plan to hold two listening sessions (November 17th and 19th) for staff and council members to build camaraderie and to identify critical issues; these will be held in the Gordy room and supported by the dean’s office.

Kyle asked whether groups could collaborate, and Aselia encouraged groups to do so.

Faculty-Nathan indicated the group studied available data indicating that of 140 IAC faculty approximately 75% are white, 12% Asian or Asian-American, 7% Black, and 5% Hispanic/LatinX. With faculty from underrepresented groups retiring soon, the college must work harder to recruit more URG faculty. The group contemplated a strategic initiative to hire 5-10 underrepresented individuals across the college. The group is also looking at courses to see if they incorporate DEI and accessibility issues.

Richard pointed to a new budget process planned for GT. There is a major proposal to set aside 7% of the GT budget for hires. This proposal “has movement and energy.” He will share information with the council.

Students—Raine reported the group met and discussed goals. They identified tools and actions to improve retention.

Aselia ended the meeting by encouraging members to share ideas and to bring concerns to groups and to council meetings.

Kyle mentioned introducing ice-breakers so members can get to know each other. Denise suggested groups should take turns with introductions at the openings of council meetings. First up: the communication group members will share their favorite books at the next meeting on Thursday, November 18, 2-3pm.

September 21, 2021


34 members of the council attended this meeting, which was moderated by Aselia Urmanbetova.


To brief new members, Aselia and Chad Slieper reviewed governance, membership, and council plans by commenting on sections of the council website. Jillann Hertel, LMC Co-Lab Director, and Selena Do, CM student, with the help of Carol Colatrella, Kevin Pittman, and Denise Ward developed the DEI site.

Chad explained the leadership structure noted in the Bylaws and responded to questions.

2021-22 members will be asked to nominate/self-nominate members to serve as the inaugural Chair and Vice Chair of the IAC DEI council. Responsibilities are explained in the online Bylaws.

Amendments to the Bylaws can be suggested to the Governance action group.

Council members are listed on the DEI website and action group members are listed on the DEI website. Each IAC DEI member should attend monthly council meetings and work synchronously and/or asynchronously with members of their selected action group.

Aselia will send a When2Meet poll to members to determine the best time for the monthly council meetings. She will also send a link to a Qualtrics questionnaire about nominations/self-nominations for Chair and Vice Chair.

Action groups should begin to schedule their discussions and to brainstorm about activities. They may decide on a leader or rotate leadership roles, a suggestion offered by Jancy Ling Liu.

Usha Nair Reichert and Jyldyz Hughes asked about the decision-making authority of council members and the action groups. Members of the groups can suggest plans and events, and the groups can make recommendations to the council and to IAC school and college leadership.

In response to a question about funds for events, Carol noted there is money set aside in IAC for initiatives of the IAC DEI council, and Richard Utz, AD Faculty Development, indicated he could incorporate some IAC DEI activities into his budget.

There is interest in hosting a follow-up ADL workshop in fall term. The Community Engagement group will begin to plan the fall event. Last year’s workshop was organized by Chad, who offered to share ADL contact information with this year’s organizers.

Previous work of action groups as well as related material has been stored on the IAC DEI Teams site. All current members of the council have access to this information. If you need to be added to the site, contact Carol.

Before undertaking additional data collection such as surveys, groups should look through the data and other information on the IAC DEI Council Teams site and on the Institute DEI site:

IAC DEI council website

Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website

The IAC DEI council also has a moderated listserv.

If you need to be added to the list, contact Chad, Aselia, or Carol. New council leaders will be added as moderators.

April 29, 2021


G. Vergara, S. Goodman, J. Thomas, W. Jimerson, S. Ozkan, A. Urmanbetova, C. Slieper, L. Bier, K. Husbands Fealing, G. Persons, S. Dhongde, J. Hertel, F. Majmundar, R. Hampson, N. Kanny, D. Ward, J. Singh, R. Griffin, C. Colatrella


Members were reminded to apply for membership on next council. The deadline is May 10 to apply.

Shatakshee Dhongde presented a summary report about the IAC Strategic Planning process. Information about the activities and the group’s report will be posted on the IAC website.

Jennifer Singh and Aselia Urmanbetova presented information they and Andre Brock collected as members of the Strategic Plan subgroup on DEI and Mental Health and Well-being. Their power point presentation is now posted as file in the IAC DEI Teams channel “Presentations to Council.” Their recommendations include upgrading IAC facilities, establishing more transparent DEI data collection about the college, evaluating workload for non-track faculty with an eye toward greater equity, asking HR to undertake a pay gap study.

Aselia shared a draft plan for the IAC DEI Council website that is currently being developed. The IAC DEI Teams site has a “Website” channel that contains the draft plan, a checklist of what could be included on the site, and information to be included as website content. The Website planning group consists of the following members of the Communication and Community Engagement, Governance, and Recruitment working groups: Sebnem Ozkan, Rob Griffin, Carol Colatrella, Aselia Urmanbetova, Chad Slieper, and Jillann Hertel who are collaborating with Denise Ward and Kevin Pittman to develop the site.

The IAC DEI council will reconfigure its membership in May after reviewing applications submitted to the link noted above. The new council will establish leadership, organize working groups, and plan meetings in summer 2021 and beyond.

Thanks to all for your contributions.

March 4, 2021


Laura Bier, Carol Colatrella, Shatakshee Dhongde, Sy Goodman, Rob Griffin, Robert Hampton, Kaye Husbands Feeling, Will Jimerson, Neta Kanny, Maggie Kosal, Hanchao Lu, Sebnem Ozkan, Nassim Parvin, Georgia Persons, Chad Slieper, Jocelyn Thomas, Aselia Urmanbetova, Germán Vergara


We discussed short reports by action groups focusing on Curriculum, Recruitment and Retention, Governance, and Communication & Community Engagement. More information about initiatives and names of members can be seen at the IAC Diversity and Inclusion Council Teams site in the Action Group channels.

Laura presented a comprehensive report of discussions held by the Curriculum action group. They collected a list of IAC courses related to DEI and will look at strengths and gaps on the list. They would like to publicize current IAC course offerings related to DEI and are discussing how to collect and disseminate best practices. They looked at what is offered by other institutions and discussed sharing information about IAC DEI curricula and resources at the IAC New Faculty Orientation that has been proposed. There was brief discussion of the report of USG courses released by the Atlanta Journal Constitution; the report is posted in the Action Group channel. The Curriculum group is considering proposing that all IAC majors take a DEI course.

Sy added that the Curriculum group’s list of courses shows how diversity is embedded in many IAC courses, and he recommended that our council and IAC programs should increase communication about these in order to attract more students.

Nassim pointed to low hanging fruit for the Curriculum group: developing DEI learning objectives for courses and creating course modules that could be incorporated into different curricula. She also mentioned the need to arrange for cluster hires of minorities. She mentioned the labor involved in redesigning or developing courses in DEI and hopes that appropriate incentives and recognitions can be offered.

Kaye mentioned that GT is proud of IAC courses focusing on DEI issues and the related scholarship of faculty. She noted the need to highlight what we do and emphasize its alignment with GT leadership goals.

Hanchao mentioned that the Curriculum group and council could help develop an IAC DEI course might be designed to be offered to or required for all GT students.

Georgia agreed that creating a general education course that would be required for all students could be a multi-disciplinary, team-taught course for GT students.

Kaye asked if the structure of Action Groups has provided efficiency in council deliberations. There was general consensus that this mechanism enables small group discussions and initiatives that can be shared with the whole council and that the current structure is effective.

Shatakshee reported that the Recruitment and Retention group appreciates the structure as a way to focus on specific issues. The group has been engaged in creative thinking about what is possible and is moving on to collect data. She and other group members will review IDEI reports stored on the D&I Council Teams site. She asked Will for a report on the numbers of faculty and staff employed in the last five years; he agreed to provide it. Shatakshee will also ask Mary Frank Fox, ADVANCE Professor, about the recent ADVANCE survey querying faculty about Covid issues.

Reporting from the Communication and Community Engagement group, Sebnem emphasized the need for us to be proactive and share information about DEI and the council’s initiatives as widely as possible. She recommended that the new dean’s weekly newsletter should include a section about DEI issues, events, and initiatives. Noting the newsletter will also include a section with research funding opportunities, Kaye agreed with that DEI information should be in the newsletter and asked Sebnem, Rob, and Carol to discuss with Denise Ward how to proceed. Rob noted that Communication is a topic that also overlaps with communication courses and Comm Lab.

Aselia, Chad, and others noted that it is important to think about recruitment and retention from the perspectives of various minority groups, including LGBTQIA and those with disabilities.

Georgia wondered about the numbers of Black faculty and students. Her impression is that numbers are declining or flat. Kaye shared some hiring figures from Charles Isbell in CoC about Black faculty at GT; those have been posted in Teams in the Recruitment and Retention channel. Kaye also shared a link to a recent article about OSU: “Ohio State President Announces Pledge to Hire 50 Scholars Focused on Race, Equity Issues,” Diverse Issues in Higher Education, February 22, 2021. These resources are posted in the Retention and Recruitment channel on the Teams site.

Aselia suggested that the council should meet with the IAC Strategic Planning DEI subgroup; this could take place in April. Sy indicated that he would like the council to sponsor another ADL workshop, which could take place in May or summer or fall.

Aselia and Chad have been organizing an application process for next year’s D&I Council members. Current council members and prospective members will soon be able to complete applications for membership on next year’s council. Continuing members will serve two years, and new members will serve one. Volunteers from this year’s council will review applications and make recommendations to the dean. If you are interested in volunteering to review applications, please let Chad and Aselia know.

January 26, 2021


Cecilia Montes-Alcalá, Chad Slieper, David Shook, Maggie Kosal, Neta Kanny, Sebnem Ozkan, Sy Goodman, Tigi Habtemariam, Tysh Coleman, Usha Nair-Reichert, Aselia Urmanbetova, Hanchao Lu, Will Jimerson, Carol Colatrella


CALLS FOR MEMBERS TO JOIN WORKING GROUPS: Contact Usha Nair-Reichert if you would like to collaborate with her and Fariah Majmundar in the Climate and Culture Group.

Contact Chad Slieper if you would like work in the Governance and Membership Group.

Following up on earlier inquiries about complaints and grievances, Carol shared the attached “Student Complaint Matrix” and posted in the Teams site files under General and under Communication.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to looking closely at the updated set of Bylaws that Chad and Aselia have produced. Some amendments related to the membership composition, selection, and terms were approved by the meeting participants. The latest version of the Bylaws is in the files section Teams Governance site: “IAC DEI Council Bylaws Final.”

November 24, 2020


Aselia Urmanbetova, Chad Slieper, Carol Yung, Carol Colatrella, Jocelyn Thomas, Laura Bier, Sebnem Ozkan, Cecilia Montes-Alcalá, Jillann Hertel, Kyle Smith, Valerie Thomas, David Shook, Sy Goodman, Usha Nair-Reichert


Aselia facilitated the meeting, consisting of brief reports from the council’s working groups:

Governance: Chad reported that he and Aselia have developed a set of bylaws based on previous input from the council members regarding representation, balance, succession, and other issues. The governance document is currently being considered in the dean’s office and will be shared with council members to be discussed at the 1/28/21 meeting.

Communications and Community Engagement: Sebnem noted that that there are many emails that are hard to keep track of; instead messages should be shared in curated communications, perhaps posted on the college Diversity page Council members would like to connect with other diversity councils at GT and learn about their initiatives and those of GT centers and external groups. Although many miss face-to-face person social events, there is fatigue with online meetings.

Curriculum: Laura reported that the working group members noted the need to gather information about new courses and to establish a clearinghouse of information about anti-racism and diversity courses. The larger issue concerns the need for extensive discussion to consider the question of “what is a diverse curriculum?” Sy mentioned that emphasizing historical context is a way of incorporating diverse perspectives.

Recruitment and Retention: Jillann worked with Carol Y. and Shatakshee to develop a Google doc on current initiatives and recommendations for different groups: students, staff, and faculty. Jillann mentioned the need to update the 2014 document about recommended advising practices, as advised by Amy D’Unger, who pointed to the need to mention initiatives related to first generation, persons of color, and financially disadvantaged students. Jillann indicated reviewing and perhaps revising rubrics could be an action item.

No one was present to report on Climate issues.

Important IAC D&I Dates:

Monday, 11/30/20: IAC Diversity & Inclusion Council Implicit Bias Workshop with ADL.
For all council members and any other interested staff, students, and faculty. Zoom link 

Tuesday, 1/19/21: Each working group should prepare a short report of discussions, suggestions, and
proposed actions to post in the appropriate Teams channel by Tuesday, January 19. All D&I
council members should review these reports.

Thursday, 1/28/21: IAC Diversity & Inclusion Council Meeting to discuss Bylaws TBA proposed by
Governance working group. Blue Jeans link

Thursday, 3/4/21: IAC Diversity & Inclusion Council Meeting to hear working group reports TBD.
Blue Jeans link

October 20, 2020


Kaye Husbands Fealing, Sy Goodman, Jocelyn Thomas, Germán Vergara, Chad Slieper, Aselia Urmanbetova, Fariah Majmundar, Kyle Smith, Hanchao Lu, Cecilia Montes-Alcalá, Carol Yung, Will Jimerson, Sebnem Ozkan, Jillann Hertel, Shatakshee Dhongde, Usha Nair-Reichert, Georgia Persons, Carol Colatrella


Aselia Urmanbetova and Chad Slieper presented governance issues for council members to discuss, and Shatakshee Dhongde presented an organizing framework for future iterations of the council. The governance plans and power point presentation are located on the Microsoft Teams site.

There was general agreement that the council should be limited to about 25 members, should re-adjust its proportions to include more students and staff, and to require members to participate in monthly meetings and as needed in the five action groups (below). Members agreed that the council should also represent ROTC units and post docs and that the new, streamlined governance structure should be in place in fall 2021. Current council members will continue to serve in 2020-21. The Governance group asks for additional members to inform continuing discussions; contact Aselia or Chad to volunteer.

Future meetings will include reports from the five action groups charged by the dean. Any council member who is not currently in one of the groups listed below should volunteer to join one and ask Carol Colatrella to add you to the list. The next meeting is scheduled Tu 11/24, 11am-noon, and there will be a special workshop with ADL on M 11/30, 1-3 pm. Blue Jeans links will be sent closer to those dates.


  • Climate  (including considering IAC policies & procedures):  Usha  Nair-Reichert, Ken Bernard, Fariah Majmundar    
  • Communication & Community Engagement: Carol Colatrella, Rob Griffin,  Sebnem  Ozkan  
  • Curriculum:  Laura Bier, David Shook,  Nassim  Parvin, Germán Vergara, Hanchao Lu, Sy Goodman
  • Council Governance:  Aselia  Urmanbetova,  Chad  Slieper 
  • Recruitment and Retention of Faculty, Staff, and Students:  Shatakshee  Dhongde, Carol  Yung,  Jillann  Hertel  

Questions for subgroups to consider:

  1.       What  problems, needs, gaps,  concern can  we  identify  related to this subject? 
  2.        Are there initiatives, mechanisms, procedures, and practices that should be adjusted, eliminated, or added? 
  3.       What actions should be taken? Are any actions already underway? 
  4.        Who should be responsible for creating change? Identify any existing or new resources. 
  5.       What recommendations do we propose? Identify timeline. 

September 15, 2020


Laura Bier, Ken Bernard, Carol Colatrella, Shatakshee Dhongde, Kaye Husbands Fealing, Sy Goodman, Robert Griffin, Will Jimerson, Hanchao Lu, Fariah Majmundar, Cecilia Montes-Alcala, Usha Nair-Reichert, Sebnem Ozkan, Nassim Parvin, David Shook, Carol Yung


Aselia Urmanbetova briefed council members on the recent survey of their preferences.

Top concerns in the survey were:

  • Enhancing diversity in curriculum and in faculty/staff
  • Establishing the council as a hub of information that could bring issues to the attention of the college
  • Tracking climate issues in the college and offering learning opportunities (workshops)
  • Developing accountability of the IAC Diversity and Inclusion Council and defining measurable outcomes

Members present volunteered to meet in discussion subgroups to consider ideas, goals, and activities to address the concern, and all members of the council should consider adding their names to this list, which adapts some language previously adopted by the council:

  • Climate (including considering IAC policies & procedures): Usha Nair-Reichert
  • Communication & Community Engagement: Carol Colatrella, Rob Griffin, Sebnem Ozkan
  • Curriculum: Laura Bier, David Shook, Nassim Parvin
  • Council Governance: Aselia Urmanbetova, (possibly Chad Slieper)
  • Recruitment and Retention of Faculty, Staff, and Students: Shatakshee Dhongde, Carol Yung, Cecilia Montes-Alcalá, Jillann Hertel

The IAC Diversity and Inclusion Council TEAMS site includes places to add Goals, Objectives, and Actions in the Notes section assigned to each Channel. Anyone can also add documents to the Files sections of the channels.

Please add information from IAC schools and other colleges to the appropriate TEAMS channel. Consider the funding prospects of any initiatives: philanthropy, grants, etc.

Next meetings: Tuesday, October 20, 11am: planning governance and hearing from subgroups about actions related to the TEAMS topics on Tuesday, November 24.

July 28, 2020


Kaye Husbands Fealing, Aselia Urmanbetova, Carol Yung, Chad Slieper, David Shook, Fariah Majmundar, Germán Vergara, Jillann Hertel, Ken Bernard, Leslie Ross, Nassim Parvin, Robert Hampson, Sebnem Ozkan, Shatakshee Dhongde, Sy Goodman, Usha Nair Reichert, Valerie Thomas, Will Jimerson, Rob Griffin, Hanchao Luo, Carol Colatrella

(apologies for omissions)


The meeting opened recognizing Sebnem Ozkan for being selected to participated in the LeadingWomen@Tech program. Members were reminded that they can review and add documents at the Microsoft Teams site. Minutes of the last meeting indicated issues for members include improving climate in schools, enhancing decision-making in governance to include staff and faculty, and to improve faculty/staff, faculty/student, and student/staff interactions.

Dean Kaye Husbands Fealing charged the council to develop goals, objectives, and actions. She pointed to a number of documents in the Teams site, offering as a template an organizational structure followed by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. Their framework includes the following working groups: climate, communication, curriculum, community engagement, recruitment & retention, and research. See p.5 of the document “HH2018EquityandInclusion” under Teams General Files for more information.

Members were asked to discuss “What do we stand for? And “What are we attempting to do” to develop an organization frame and develop a set of goals, objectives, and actions, taking the

Humphrey working group topics as a starting point. Discussion also took into account the previously articulated mission of the group and acknowledged that other colleges have similar groups considering diversity, equity, and inclusion. We agreed that the different councils are aligned with Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion planning, although each council takes on issues and makes recommendations for each college.

Dean Fealing indicated that the council should be evaluated according to metrics and that those metrics can be informed by research in and external to the college. There was additional consideration of how the council identifies itself and determines its focal issues. Aselia Urmanbetova volunteered to lead construction of a survey to determine council priorities.

Some issues important to members that surfaced during the discussion include designing a Black Studies minor, establishing an executive group within the council, to make sure staff are adequately represented and have access to professional development opportunities, to increase the number of students who are members of the council (perhaps by offering a small sum of money as an incentive), to develop the web presence of the council, and to record meetings. More voices, a better defined identity seem to be among the salient themes.

The dean asked if anyone had a suggestion for a tag line that could encompass the council’s aims. Suggestions included “Conscience of the college,” “Making Georgia Tech No Place for Bias,” “Communication, Conscience, Culture,” “Intercultural Growth and Learning for Faculty, Students, and Staff,” and “Celebrating Individuality.”

Carol Colatrella indicated the next virtual meeting would take place on August 27 or 28; look for a poll of times. David suggested that she should assign homework.

Here’s the HOMEWORK to be completed by the end of August

Sketch brief goals, objectives, and actions related to the topics below. Insert your ideas by adding text to the appropriate channel in its Notes section:

  • Climate
  • Communication
  • Curriculum
  • Community Engagement
  • Council Governance
  • Recruitment and Retention of Faculty
  • Recruitment and Retention of Staff
  • Recruitment and Retention of Students

I’ve already indicated places to add Goals, Objectives, and Actions in the Notes section assigned to each of the above Channels. Feel free to sign your insertions in Notes if you would like to get credit (the admiration of your colleagues) for completing the Homework. Information inserted in the Notes is automatically saved. You can also add documents to the Files sections of the channels.

June 30, 2020


Aselia Urmanbetova, Carol Yung, Chad Slieper, Jillann Hertel, Jocelyn Thomas, Ken Bernard, Keona Lewis, Hanchao Luo, Sebnem Ozkan, Seymour Goodman, Shatakshee Dhongde, Steven Norris, Usha Nair Reichert, Valerie Thomas, Robert Hampson, Carol Colatrella


Chad Slieper and Aselia Urmanbetova organized a program consisting of a climate survey briefing offered by Dr. Keona Lewis, Associate Director for Research and Evaluation in the Office of Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Georgia Tech. Dr. Lewis earned her PhD in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida. Her research and praxis revolve around “race/ethnicity and educational outcomes,” expounding on the history of the race construct and implication for underrepresented students. 

Dr. Lewis shared results and some analysis of the 2017 Georgia Tech climate survey, focusing on information about Ivan Allen College faculty and staff. (The climate survey data appear in a separate file of power point slides.) Common themes in the Georgia Tech responses indicate that a significant number respondents feel they lack support, mentoring, and guidance toward advancement. Many respondents acknowledged hearing disparaging comments, and a moderately high percentage thought about exiting Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech responses reveal differing perceptions of women and men and differing perceptions of individuals from underrepresented minorities (African-American, Latinx, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders) and those from non-underrepresented minorities. Ivan Allen faculty and staff responded similarly. Dr. Lewis indicated that while there has been some progress in certain areas surveyed, results indicate a distinct need for improvement in order to develop a more welcoming climate for all groups: students, staff, and faculty. She also pointed to the dearth of African-American faculty at Georgia Tech, indicating in that there are only 31 tenure-track/tenured faculty with appointments in the six colleges.

The first question noted in the discussion of climate survey concerned grievance procedures. Attendees were pointed to the Georgia Tech ombudspersons, the associate vice provost of academic conflict resolution (Dr. Kyla Ross), Ethics Point, and the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee (chaired by Dr. Andrew Peterson).

The rest of the discussion focused on planning Diversity and Inclusion Council initiatives to address the issues that the climate survey points to: marginalization, lack of respect, lack of participation in decision making, and other forms of exclusion and alienation. Dr. Lewis suggested that members identify three issues that could be the focus of the council’s attention and that could improve the environment for students, faculty, and staff. She indicated that desired outcomes in these areas should be measurable and that the council should track its efforts over time and establish timelines.

Issue 1: Members recommended that staff and non-tenure track faculty be intentionally included in school meetings and school decision-making. Addressing the exclusion of some will enable improved conditions for staff and faculty. We agreed that volunteers from the D&I Council will review school handbooks and procedures with the goal of determining some practices that could be discussed and that could be revised to encourage inclusion. Ken Bernard, Carol Yung, Chad Slieper, and Carol Colatrella volunteered to assist with this effort.

Issue 2: Members present also pointed to continuing needs of students to consult with faculty and staff about personal and academic issues. We were reminded of two clauses related to concern for students that could be inserted in each syllabus, one concerning equity and the other forms of assistance.i Aselia Urmanbetova and Jillann Hertel volunteered to consider other practices and resources to aid faculty and staff in advising students.

Issue 3: We discussed a lack of trust holding back many in the college community from interacting in a more positive way. Recommendations to help build bridges among segments of the community included bringing in a facilitator such as Alison Padilla-Goodman of the Anti-Defamation League to conduct a workshop or implementing activities suggested by Dare to Lead and Daring Classrooms.

While these issues may seem separate and to address the needs of particular sub-groups, we agreed the issues intersect and that our core concern should be to bring together all members of the college community in ways that contribute to better practices and more healthy outcomes. Dr. Lewis cautioned us to be careful to indicate priorities and strategies and to be mindful of how we will measure progress towards our goals.

February 25, 2020


Shatakshee Dhongde, Aselia Urmanbetova, Germán Vergara, Rob Griffin, Sebnem Ozkan, Cecilia Montes-Alcalá, Sy Goodman, Georgia Persons, Valerie Thomas, John Tone, Carol Colatrella, David Shook, Will Jimerson


Discussion considered a variety of initiatives that could be developed by the council and supported by IDEI funds (see page 2). Possibilities considered as priorities by those present are:

  1. Inviting internal and external speakers (2020-21)
  2. Climate survey reports by IDEI (spring 2020)
  3. Training for facilitators (spring/summer 2020)
  4. Competitions for students, faculty, and staff to identify and implement diversity initiatives in Atlanta or on campus (2020-21)


Those present agreed to ask Dr. Archie Ervin and Dr. Keona Lewis to meet with us during late spring 2020 term to present IAC results from the most recent climate survey conducted by Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Follow up: Colatrella invited Dr. Ervin who will let us know possible dates.

The IAC D&I Council proposes to use the $2500 allocated by IDEI to subsidize diversity facilitator training for two members: Aselia Urmanbetova and Carol Yung. These members volunteered to be trained during spring 2020 or early summer 2020 in a program that Dr. Ervin might recommend so that they could train other IAC faculty and staff. Follow up: Colatrella has shared this idea with Dr. Ervin and will share his response.

Thinking ahead, the IAC D&I Council will also follow up with Pearl Alexander and Cheryl Cofield or others in IDEI during the 2020-21 academic year to undertake training related to improving faculty-staff relations and enhancing classroom climate. We might also invite an external speaker next year and/or provide an opportunity for members of the IAC community to develop diversity projects.
Follow up: Colatrella shared these ideas with Dr. Ervin and Pearl Alexander, who coordinates the college diversity councils.

Those present at the IAC D&I Council meeting agreed that Colatrella should ask council members to volunteer to co-coordinate council initiatives. Email her at to volunteer.

Other business (not mentioned at meeting): Valerie Thomas and Aselia Urmanbetova conducted a survey related to the use of grant funds to support child/elder care at conferences. Federal regulations allow this use although USG does not permit this use. Thomas and Urmanbetova joined a group of faculty who forwarded testimonies describing the needs of faculty to access grant funds for this purpose to the provost. He responded that his office recognizes this concern.

List address: iac-diversitycouncil@lists.


IACLA Diversity & Inclusion Council Ideas for workshops/events

Climate Survey results:

Dr. Archie Ervin, Vice President, Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Dr. Keona Lewis, Associate Director, Institute Diversity Research, IDEI

Ideas from Pearl Alexander:

Local Chief Diversity Officers who may accept a $2000-2,500 honorarium:

Emory Names Chief Diversity Officer: Carol E. Henderson

Linda Nelson

Another incredibly knowledgeable speaker who may be willing to keynote for your council is Dr. Damon Williams. I’m not sure if he is still living in Atlanta. It appears he’s returned the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He’s written a book that may provide a basis for some activities.

A very dynamic speaker steeped in Diversity, Inclusion and Equity and Higher Education and not far away at Auburn is Taffye Benson Clayton.

Mary Rowe, an Adjunct Professor at MIT would also be a great person to bring for a keynote on Micro-messages:

A combination of having her speak followed by an afternoon of the micromessages workshop/activity that Cheryl and I facilitate might be a hybrid approach to consider.

Books that may be purchased and digested in preparation for late spring and fall workshops or dialogues:

Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, Dynamics, and Impact

58 little things that have a BIG impact: What's Your MicroTrigger?

Micromessaging: Why Great Leadership is Beyond Words