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 Tuesday, January 23, 2007 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

IN THE SPOTLIGHT


New Leaders Have High Hopes for Black Faculty/Staff Association
By Linda Besen, Publications and Creative Services

New leaders of the Black Faculty/Staff Association (BFSA) intend to gain a comprehensive understanding of the Black experience at CU, and to represent that experience to both internal and external audiences. They say, “By laying this groundwork, we can make a positive difference in the experiences of faculty and staff at the university.”

Aswad Allen, director of the Diverse Scholars Program at the Leeds School of Business, and George Hoey, career development coordinator with Career Services, took over last fall as co-chairs.

Association members are reaching out to CU employees, from custodial support to senior faculty, to introduce themselves and the organization. Allen called their strategy “faith-based,” believing that “if we build it they will come.”

BFSA will continue to help administration respond to diversity-related incidents. Allen said, “When something comes up, we want to be able to respond quickly. We want to become a part of the fabric of what takes place at the university. Derrick Watson (the previous chair of BFSA) did so much to get the association known, but now it’s time for it not to be all on his shoulders. We want the organization to work regardless of who’s here.”

According to Phil DiStefano, who was interim chancellor during several racial incidents, BFSA is effective. “I found the Black Faculty/Staff Association to be a worthwhile resource for expertise on diversity issues that arise, both within the university and between the university and the larger community,” he said.

“We want to see success in diversity issues on this campus,” said Hoey, “because we recognize that the spotlight on the flagship university is often directly related to diversity. We want and expect to contribute to the positive outcome of those issues.”

The co-chairs are grateful to the core group of BFSA members, who they say have shown a tremendous commitment to the endeavor despite being very busy professionally. “The issues that we are involved with are very important issues, and we tend to personalize them,” said Hoey. “The things we talk about at meetings can’t just be left on the table until the following month—we take those issues with us. That’s difficult, and that’s where the faith part comes in. We just have to believe that we’re fulfilling our goals.”

BFSA meets on the third Wednesday of each month, usually at noon. For more information, contact either Aswad Allen (303-735-5117, Aswad.Allen@colorado.edu) or George Hoey (303-492-0530, George.Hoey@colorado.edu).


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