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The Search for a Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois

Augustana College welcomes applications and nominations for the position of Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to begin service in March 2018. For full consideration for this position, submit application by November 10, 2017.

Augustana is a private, selective college of the liberal arts and sciences. The 115-acre campus is located in Rock Island, Illinois, part of the Quad-Cities metropolitan area along the Mississippi River, 165 miles west of Chicago. Augustana awards the bachelor of arts in about 90 majors and related academic programs. The college has had a Phi Beta Kappa chapter since 1950, and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. President Steven C. Bahls is Augustana’s eighth president.

It is both the policy and commitment of Augustana College to provide an environment free from discrimination and to ensure inclusion of all—notwithstanding race, color, religion, veteran status, disability, gender identity and sexual orientation. The four strategic directions of the college’s Augustana 2020 strategic plan are: 1) Enhanced Preparation; 2) Integrated Experiences; 3) Affordability and Value; and 4) Diversity and Inclusion.

As an anti-racist, anti-discriminatory liberal arts college that will continue to thrive throughout the 21st century, Augustana seeks a Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion who is committed to pursuing the college’s other strategic goals, and to supporting academic programs that both preserve and advance the college’s mission and character.

The successful candidate for the position of the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be a collaborative, strategic and results-oriented leader with a thorough knowledge of research and experience of best practices regarding diversity, equity and inclusion on campus, and who will energize and create pathways that advance diversity and inclusion at all levels. The Vice President will work closely with the President, the President’s Cabinet, and faculty, staff and students to enthusiastically facilitate diversity, promote equity and ensure inclusion-related initiatives and institutional efforts. 

Toward a More Inclusive Augustana

Students & Faculty

2,500 students, 12-1 student-to-faculty ratio
26% domestic & international students of color

800+ incoming students in 2017:
152 first-year students of color (not including international)
87 first-year international students
56 transfer students

316 faculty members:
149 tenured or tenure-track, 48 other full-time 
14.4% members of minority groups 

In 2005, the Augustana Board of Trustees adopted the strategic goal of shaping the student body to better reflect America’s diversity. Through sustained efforts in intervening years (many of which are detailed in the Diversity Efforts Inventory), enrollment has become stronger, growing from only 5% students of color in 2002 to 26% today.

In 2016, the Board of Trustees heard reports on substantial disparities that exist when students are asked about their sense of belonging at Augustana. This led to Diversity and Inclusion being included among the four strategic directions of Augustana 2020, committing the college to creating pathways that advance our diversity at all levels, and ensuring equity in access so that all students have the particular tools and resources they need to succeed.

Effective, empowered, cabinet-level leadership is required to successfully align such initiatives as Sustained Dialogues, the Center for Inclusive Leadership and Equity, the Presidential Center for Faith and Learning, and curricular advances in gender and interfaith studies at Augustana College. The position for a Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion recognizes that we must continue this work.

As a liberal arts college that educates students to embody wide knowledge, diverse perspectives, and generosity in spirit and in practice, we must expand our own perspectives and practices to build inclusiveness and equity in all we do.

The Leadership Agenda

Augustana College continues to enjoy remarkable success and progress during these challenging times for higher education. Enrollments are growing, gift income is strong, budgets are balanced. The college’s vibrant academic life is marked each day by student achievement and faculty excellence. This is the context as Augustana seeks to hire a strategic, results-oriented leader who is prepared to work across the campus to advance diversity and inclusion at all levels. The Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will serve as a senior officer of the college, working closely with the President of the College, the President’s Cabinet, and faculty, staff and students to build a campus community that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion so that all can fully experience and realize the excellence of an Augustana College education.

The work of the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be shaped and informed by the following leadership agenda:

1) Serve as a member of the college’s senior leadership team

Augustana’s Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will work closely with President Bahls and the President’s Cabinet in leading and managing the college’s mission for diversity, with a deep commitment to shared governance and shared responsibility. This individual is one of eight members of the President’s Cabinet, which meets every two weeks to report from their leadership areas, discuss issues and to develop administrative policies for the college. The cabinet operates in highly collaborative, team-oriented style, and is deeply committed to shared governance in all issues that affect the college.

2) Coordinate implementation of the college’s strategic initiatives, particularly on diversity and inclusion

The college’s strategic plan, Augustana 2020Enhancing Student Success, is organized around four initiatives. Implementing this plan, especially the fourth initiative of “Diversity and Inclusion,” will be a high priority and distinctive opportunity for the new Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Enhancing student success leads directly to Augustana’s strategic focus on diversity and inclusion.

The strategic focus on diversity and inclusion came into focus after students of color on campus reported a lesser sense of belonging than white students in the 2015 senior surveys. Following conversations with students about their experiences, the college responded by making diversity and inclusion a primary strategy for the continued success of our college and community.

President Bahls drafted a Statement on Diversity and Inclusion, including specific goals for employees, which he has shared with the community. Further, an ongoing Diversity Efforts Inventory related to increasing diversity and improving the campus environment was created in fall of 2016 and is regularly updated.

3) Provide guidance for faculty and staff on recruitment, retention and hiring policies, practices and procedures

Augustana College is deeply committed to diversifying both the faculty and staff of the college. Progress has been made, and yet, as is true elsewhere, this effort has yielded less change than desired or hoped.

Thus, the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be looked to as an important resource in bringing to light best practices for creating more inclusive faculty and staff recruitment processes, and courses of action to increase retention. This individual will facilitate the development of a social justice mindset to formalize institutional practices around intercultural competency, policy development and performance measurement.

4) Work with faculty on curriculum development and instructional practices that support an inclusive and effective learning environment

The members of the Augustana faculty are widely known and respected for the excellence of their work, deep loyalty to the college, and dedication to the welfare and success of Augustana students. The new Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will have the opportunity to work closely with the faculty and their leaders in addressing important issues on diversity and inclusion within the curriculum and instructional practice.

The Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will work closely with the team in the Office of Academic Affairs, led by the provost. The provost works directly with 31 academic department chairs and has oversight of the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art, CORE (Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration), Center for Faculty Enrichment, Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, Office of the Registrar, Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, and Thomas Tredway Library.

5) Facilitate campus-wide engagement to achieve greater recruitment, retention and success of underrepresented students

The Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will work collaboratively with colleagues, students and existing groups across campus to facilitate greater awareness about Augustana’s cultural mindset, and how to make shifts to a more inclusive campus climate for underrepresented students. With a focus on making excellence inclusive, the vice president will encourage self-study, making visible the opportunity to enhance the lived experiences for underrepresented students, and thereby for all Augustana community members.

6) Develop and align initiatives, and manage the resources, that advance diversity, equity and inclusion

The Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will work closely with the college’s senior leadership team in overseeing effective and efficient use of resources. In addition, the vice president will directly manage resources to advance objectives tied to the Augustana 2020 strategic plan, in particular those related to diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as other initiatives and projects that may be developed.

7) Provide oversight for the college’s Office of Multicultural Student Life

Augustana’s Office of Multicultural Student Life (OMSL) is a place where students and others can gather to discuss diversity issues on campus, and offers programming and networking opportunities to build a campus culture that values people of all racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Through wide-ranging campus constituent engagement, the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will bring a comprehensive understanding of academic and co-curricular synergistic opportunities as they work with the staff of OMSL in addressing important student life issues aimed at elevating the strength of Augustana’s increasing diversity.

8) Cultivate strong relationships with the college’s multiple constituencies beyond campus

The new Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will represent Augustana and the college’s expanded commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the Quad Cities and beyond. Working with alumni and friends of the college, it is expected the vice president will both strengthen longstanding historical connections, and work to build new, innovative and mutually beneficial relationships.

Desired Attributes for Leadership

The successful candidate for the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Augustana will hold a Ph.D., J.D., Ed.D. or other terminal degree, and will have a minimum of 4 to 6 years of successful and increasingly responsible senior-level administrative experience in a role related to diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education.

Depending upon background and experience, it is expected that the vice president will be appointed as a member of the Augustana faculty and will teach one class per year, as time and priorities allow. In addition, the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will evidence the following leadership attributes and experience:

1. A MISSION-ORIENTED EDUCATOR who is excited about and energized by the history and mission of Augustana College as a liberal arts education for the mind, spirit and body; deeply engages staff members; and acts as a facilitator to enhance a positive work atmosphere for all employees of this community

2. A STRONG ADVOCATE FOR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION who brings experience and knowledge to advance Augustana’s commitment to building an exemplary community that cherishes diversity of all kinds; who can articulate, cultivate and promote a collaborative vision of diversity, equity and inclusion on campus; and who has a keen understanding of the diversity issues impacting the national and higher education landscape today

3. A SKILLED AND STRATEGIC DECISION-MAKER with a proven track record of facilitating conversations and mediating diverse opinions; who understands the process of building support and consensus around ideas and courses of action; who honors transparency throughout the process; who listens carefully and considers diverse viewpoints; and who then is willing, with care and consideration, to make decisions and take action

4. A COMMUNITY-BUILDER who sees the education, safety, growth and well-being of students as our utmost priority; and who has an understanding of the application of research in the development and advancement of a positive and inclusive campus climate for diversity

5. A CREATIVE AND ENTREPRENEURIAL CURRICULUM AND PROGRAM DEVELOPER who can successfully work with faculty in curriculum development efforts to facilitate inclusive pedagogy, and work with faculty and students in developing and coordinating a comprehensive range of programs and services that sustain and promote an environment of inclusiveness (i.e., developing campus diversity events)

6. A COLLABORATIVE LEADER COMMITTED TO EMPOWERING OTHERS through shared governance with the faculty, attentiveness to morale, teamwork with the administrative team, and high levels of engagement with all members of the community; engage with staff members and act as a facilitator such that staff may work toward advancing the values of diversity and inclusion

7. AN EXPERIENCED FACULTY MEMBER with a successful record of teaching, publication, scholarship and service, who, by experience, understands the evolving expectations and demands that impact faculty across the campus

8. AN ASTUTE FINANCIAL MANAGER capable of careful financial planning, building budgets and allocating resources in ways that are fair and transparent, and that reflect clear priorities

9. AN EXCEPTIONAL COMMUNICATOR who has the skills to work one-on-one and in groups, influence others, successfully manage challenge, and serve as a powerful and effective spokesperson for underrepresented students and the student body as a whole

10. A VALUES-CENTERED PERSON who leads by example, and for whom honesty, integrity, transparency and inclusion matter in both work and personal life

11. A JOYFUL COMMUNITY MEMBER who enjoys working in the intimate setting of a small, private church-affiliated liberal arts college, and who welcomes the role of public leader, actively engaged with campus life as well as the larger community

The Process of Candidacy

Email your expression of interest or nomination to:

Umme Al-wazedi, Chair
VPDEI Search Committee
Augustana College


Send your documents as MS Word or Adobe PDF files, including:

1. letter of interest that addresses the leadership opportunities outlined in the leadership profile above,

2. curriculum vitae, and

3. names, email addresses and phone numbers of five references. References will not be contacted without permission of the candidate. For full consideration, materials must be received on or before November 10, 2017.


This search is being assisted by:

Loren J. Anderson, Ph.D.
Executive Search Consultant, AGB Search

Kim R. Bobby, Ed.D.
Executive Search Consultant, AGB Search


Members of the search committee are:

Dr. Umme Al-wazedi, associate professor of English and women’s & gender studies
Chris Beyer, director of residential life
Vanessa Dominguez ’19
Stacie Gill ’18
Dr. John Hildreth, professor of music
Dr. Mariano J. Magalhães, professor of political science
Dr. Jennifer Popple, assistant professor of theatre arts and women’s & gender studies
Schiebert ’72, member of the Augustana College Board of Trustees
Dr. Gail Summer, provost and vice president of academic affairs
Chris Vaughn, director of institutional technology


Augustana College is an equal opportunity employer. It is Augustana College’s intent and policy to provide equal opportunity to all qualified employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability and any other category protected by federal, state or local law. 

Director of Human Resources Laura Ford is the college’s Equal Opportunity Employment Officer. Contact  

APPENDIX: About Augustana College

Mission and Strategic Plan

Augustana’s mission statement is foundational and aspirational: Augustana College, rooted in the liberal arts and sciences and a Lutheran expression of the Christian faith, is committed to offering a challenging education that develops qualities of mind, spirit and body necessary for a rewarding life of leadership and service in a diverse and changing world.

Augustana’s relationship to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is defined by The Five Faith Commitments of Augustana College, unanimously adopted by the Board of Trustees in spring of 2004, and updated and reaffirmed in 2015. The Five Faith Commitments reflects five fundamental values of Augustana as a church-related college in the 21st century: 1) Interfaith Engagement, 2) Social Justice, 3) Spiritual Exploration, 4) Reasoned Examination, and 5) Vocational Discernment.

Augustana’s strategic plan, adopted by the Augustana College Board of Trustees in spring of 2014, is Augustana 2020: Enhancing Student Success, Before and After Graduation. The four strategic directions of Augustana 2020 focus on: 1) Enhanced Preparation, to ensure students have distinguished career and graduate school success; 2) Integrated Experiences, to facilitate transformative learning; 3) Affordability and Value, to increase access and expand opportunities; and 4) Diversity and Inclusion, to ensure Augustana is devoted to all members of the college community, and all graduates are prepared for a diverse and changing world.

Augustana Leadership

Augustana’s Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be one of eight members of the President’s Cabinet, which meets every two weeks to report from their leadership areas, discuss issues and to develop administrative policies for the college. The cabinet is committed to shared governance in all issues that affect the college.

Current members and their years of service are:

Steven C. Bahls, President of the College, 15 years
Gail Summer, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, 4 months
W. Kent Barnds, Executive Vice President for External Relations, 13 years
Kirk Anderson, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Administration, 3 years
Evelyn Campbell, Dean and Vice President of Student Life, 26 years
Sheri Curran, General Counsel, 8 years
Richard Priggie, Campus Chaplain, 19 years

The Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion also will provide oversight of Augustana’s Office of Multicultural Student Life (OMSL). The OMSL is headed by Michael Rogers, interim director. (See The Leadership Agenda #7.)

Overview of the College

Augustana was founded in Chicago in 1860 by Swedish university graduates, and moved to Rock Island in 1875. Rock Island is part of the Quad Cities, a diverse metropolitan area (pop. 400,000) in Illinois and Iowa, spanning a length of the Mississippi River.

The college enrolls about 2,500 students from diverse backgrounds. Students enrolling in fall of 2017-18 comprise the largest and most diverse group in the college’s history: more than 800 students include 87 international students and 152 domestic students of color in the first-year class, as well as 56 transfer students.

The current faculty of 316 includes 149 tenured and tenure-track faculty, and 48 other full-time faculty, with the remaining including administrative faculty, adjuncts, coaches, librarians and part-time faculty. Student-to-faculty ratio is 12-to-one. Ninety-three percent of the full-time faculty have the Ph.D. or terminal degree in their field. More than 80% serve as student advisors.

Old Main

Augustana enjoys a strong academic reputation. Students begin their liberal arts education with First-Year Inquiry, a multidisciplinary sequence of courses that teaches them to think about and communicate challenging ideas, and to value different views and perspectives. The primary focus of the third course in the sequence is “How do we embrace the challenges of our diverse and changing world?” So in their very first year, students begin to explore diversity in an academic setting. Three days per year, the college hosts Symposium Days; two focus on important social justice issues, and the third is the annual Celebration of Learning, which showcases students’ Senior Inquiry and other projects. Senior Inquiry is an extended research or creative project that deepens students’ knowledge in their major and connections made throughout their liberal arts education, and demonstrates how they can use and apply what they discover throughout the process.

Augustana has several academic centers focused on faculty and student research and study in specific areas, which have arisen according to college history and faculty expertise. They include the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, Center for Polar Studies, Center for the Study of Ethics, Center for the Study of Judaism and Jewish Culture, Center for the Study of Pluralism and the Civil Sphere, Centre for Whistler Criticism, William F. Freistat Center for Peace Studies, Center for Inclusive Leadership and Equity, the Upper Mississippi Center for Sustainable Communities, and the Presidential Center for Faith and Learning.

Other academic centers are for the overarching benefit of teaching and learning, especially the Center for Faculty Enrichment, and the Reading/Writing Center in the Learning Commons.

In 2012, the faculty authored and approved a list of college-wide learning outcomes they would expect to see represented by all Augustana graduates, no matter what their field(s) of study. The nine outcomes are categorized within three broad areas of capability, including:

Holi festival

Intellectual—disciplinary knowledge, critical thinking/information literacy and quantitative literacy

Interpersonal—collaborative leadership, intercultural competency and communication skills

Intrapersonal—creative thinking, ethical citizenship and intellectual curiosity

To meet these goals, integrated programming throughout campus—in the residence halls, student life programming, etc.—overlap scholarly, cultural and civic activities. By correlating knowledge and values in numerous ways, the nine student learning outcomes promote growth in these areas and help students to see the connections. They relate to the second strategic direction of Augustana 2020: Integrated Experiences, to facilitate transformative learning.

Augustana’s campus is residential, and life in the residence halls is developmental: students live on campus for the first three years, with residential programming each year focusing on the academic, vocational and personal issues they may undertake during that stage in their lives. First-year students can participate in a Residential Learning Experience (RLE), in which they enroll in courses together and live together as a community. For 2017-18, the two RLE themes are community service and cultural connections. During the junior year, living in a TLA (transitional living area, one of the apartments or townhomes on campus) prepares them for certain responsibilities of living off campus.

The most recent renovation projects have focused on student life and the performing arts. The Kim and Donna Brunner Theatre Center transformed the former College Center into a facility for theatre arts in 2016. The Gerber Center for Student Life, completed in 2013 and named in 2015, combines the Tredway Library, student support services and the dining center. The final stage of renovating Westerlin Residence Center, the college’s largest residence hall, was completed in 2017.

Augustana offers nearly 200 student organizations, clubs, performing arts and interest groups. Greek life includes 14 fraternities and sororities.

The college is a member of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). The Vikings have won 194 CCIW team championships and four NCAA DIII team championships, and qualified more than 250 teams for national competition. With the addition of women’s bowling and men’s volleyball in fall of 2017, the college now offers 13 men’s and 12 women’s varsity teams. More than two dozen club sports include ice hockey, water polo, equestrian club and crew on the Mississippi River.

Distinctions and Recognition

Augustana ranks in the nation’s Top 10, in all athletic divisions, for Academic All-Americans—students who excel in their studies and their sport. This distinction is one illustration of the balance of academics and extracurricular activity that’s characteristic of Augustana students. About half of all students are involved in varsity or intramural sports; 20% participate in a music ensemble; 86% volunteer in the community.

faculty and students

Another distinction is the college’s location in the Quad Cities, which gives students access to the many learning and career-related resources of this area, with little competition from other colleges. The Iowa-Illinois Quad Cities offers internships, employment, research sites, job-shadowing and volunteer opportunities, plus a vibrant and affordable social scene. Here students find Fortune 500 companies, top-ranked hospitals, five distinct city governments, four TV stations, a wide range of schools for student-teaching and other projects, a top-ranked minor league sports markets, museums and the arts (including professional ballet and symphony), historical sites, environmental field stations and a wide range of non-profit organizations.

Augustana advisors work side-by-side with students to maximize their learning and apply it to their next steps in college and after graduation. The college takes a tradition of strong advising to a new level with CORE (Careers, Opportunities, Research, Exploration), based in the Olin Center on central campus. CORE has staff and resources focused on career development and vocational paths, graduate school, internships, study away, research, entrepreneurship and volunteer opportunities.

Augie Choice, based in CORE, is a distinctive funding program providing every student $2,000 for study away, research or an internship. Students choose their Augie Choice for its impact on their education, career and life goals. The funds are readily available in the junior or senior year. Augie Choice is likely one reason for our high number of students who study abroad (see below).

Some recent recognition for the college includes:

Princeton Review’s 2018 Best Midwestern Colleges
#7 in 2017
Niche college rankings of Best Colleges in Illinois
#50 in 2017
Niche Best Liberal Arts Colleges in America
Top tier in 2017 Kiplinger’s Best Values in Private Colleges–Liberal Arts Colleges (#75 of 200)
Ranked third for efficiency among the highly ranked colleges and universities (Augustana #101,
U.S. News & World Report 2017)
Ranked #5 in Illinois and #106 overall in the most recent (2013) “Lumosity’s Smartest Colleges”
39th among the nation’s baccalaureate colleges for number of students who study abroad, and 13th nationally for short-duration international study programs (2016 Open Doors report)

Quad Cities

On the Horizon


1969 – Augustana hosts Black Power Symposium, with appearances by Roy Innis, Jesse Jackson, Dick Gregory and others.

1970 – The Black Culture House (now Black Student Union) Is established at Augustana.

2005Authentically Augustana strategic plan recognizes greater diversity as one of its six goals. 

2007 – Augustana is first Lutheran church-related college in the U.S. to embrace LGBT equity.

2012 – Augustana welcomes same-sex union ceremonies in Ascension Chapel. (Illinois recognizes same-sex marriages in 2014.)

2013 – Augustana named College of the Year by the National Hispanic Institute.

May 2016 – Augustana makes diversity and inclusion a strategic priority in Augustana 2020, updating and completing the 2014 draft. 

Summer 2016 – Augustana launches Center for Inclusive Leadership and Equity; Dr. Chris Whitt, chair of the political science department, is founding director.

Nov. 2016 – President Bahls expresses support of DACA in a statement by more than 700 leaders in higher education.

2017 – Augustana student group Latinx Unidos (formerly Latinos Unidos) celebrates its 25th anniversary at Homecoming.

Throughout its 157 years, Augustana College has demonstrated a nimble response to challenges in higher education and the broader society. The college’s continued success can be attributed to the vision and versatility of its community of leaders, progressing with the college over time. Current challenges for the college include many shared by other small, private liberal arts colleges around the country: affordability, changing demographics of students, diversity and inclusion, and a mission and curriculum relevant to the growing complexities of the 21st century.

As stated earlier, Augustana’s current strategic plan, Augustana 2020, addresses these concerns and has made significant progress on its goals since 2014.

In keeping with historic nimbleness in the face of challenges, Augustana was one of a few institutions to add several new majors soon after 2008. Most extended from strong, longtime concentrations or minors, and included engineering physics, environmental studies, creative writing, graphic design, neuroscience, multimedia journalism and mass communication, international business, and others. Recent additions include the minor in ethics and majors in pre-nursing and public health, as well as certificate programs in the entertainment and media industries, and interreligious leadership. A major in data analytics is on the horizon, and a new master’s program in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) will be in place by 2020.

Future academic building and renovation projects also are planned or anticipated for the areas of the sciences, CSD, engineering and music. The earliest construction will be in 2018—an expansion to the north end of the Robert A. and Patricia K. Hanson Hall of Science, adding 22,000 square feet to expand cross-disciplinary study and research in the sciences. This planned expansion is the result of a gift of $2.5 million from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, a beneficial relationship that began 60 years ago.

A significant change that will affect the academic program as a whole in fall of 2019 will be the college’s transition from a trimester calendar to a semester calendar. After long discussion among the faculty and administration, the faculty voted in favor of the change and the Board of Trustees accepted their recommendation in October 2016.

The calendar change will introduce a January term, allowing students more opportunities for projects and study away during this focused time period. The new calendar also will make it easier for students to transfer to Augustana, and will allow for more collaboration and sharing of resources with institutions following the same academic calendar. College leaders are working together for a smooth transition, with the best interests of students in mind.

‘To open doors for all’

From the President’s Statement on Diversity and Inclusion, March 2017
President Steven C. Bahls

We believe in each and every one of our students, and we believe in Augustana’s mission to prepare students for a diverse and changing world. Now we need to turn that belief into action.

Therefore, I urge all of us to commit to more rapidly move Augustana to becoming a college where all students have a similar sense of belonging, and where historically underrepresented groups not only are welcomed and respected, but feel equally valued and cherished. I encourage all to look for opportunities to listen and learn from the experiences of each other.

From our collective learning, let’s ask how we can build not only a stronger Augustana, but do our part—collectively and individually—to promote social justice and inclusion in our society. In doing so, we must work, at every juncture, against the forces of exclusion. We are preparing a new generation of leaders, at and from Augustana, to overcome fear and ignorance in our country and to make the important decisions to open doors for all.