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Pepperdine University

University Diversity Council

Diversity Council Charter

The University Diversity Council (UDC) functions as an advisory council and recommending body to the Office of the Provost and liaison to departments across the university toward diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  1. Develop strategic initiatives in alignment with the university strategic plan with annual goals to improve practices related to recruitment, retention, and promotion of diverse faculty, staff, and students.

  2. Promote knowledge, skill, and institutional practices toward diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  3. Maintain an active line of communication with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) in analyzing data regarding institutional diversity.

  4. Provide a forum for consultation on diversity climate issues that arise throughout the schools.

The Pepperdine University Diversity Council is a university-wide council composed of faculty, administration, staff, and students. 

Creation and Composition of the Council

  1. The Pepperdine University Diversity Council voting members will consist of approximately twenty faculty, administration, staff, and students. The Provost of the university and/or office representative will be a non-voting, ex officio member. The Dean of each school shall appoint all faculty members from her or his respective school, or the Dean may choose to be one of the voting members counted as faculty or administration for her or his school. The Council should consider the following departments/constituents for Council composition: Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Intercultural Affairs, Student Affairs, Public Safety, Office of Student Accessibility, Chief Business Officer or representative, Seaver Admissions, Human Resources, Integrated Marketing Communications, Athletics, Office of Student Success, Pepperdine Libraries, representatives from each school's diversity councils, and from each school minimally one staff and one faculty (by election and/or departmental appointment). Student representation consists of one Seaver College undergraduate and one graduate school representative, for one-year terms. Council members serve for a two-year period and may serve successive terms.

  2. The UDC will nominate a Council member to serve as chair, conducting an election when necessary. The Provost shall appoint the Council chair for a two-year term. The nomination process occurs in the chair final term of service (by April 1). Chairs may serve consecutive terms and the Council may determine to use a co-chair system at their discretion upon a simple majority vote.

Presiding Officers, Voting, and Scheduling of Meetings

The Council meets three to four times per academic year or may choose to meet more frequently. The chair will preside and schedule meetings, calling additional meetings at her or his discretion. A recording secretary shall be provided by the Office of the Provost or may also be selected from the Council body to record the minutes for each meeting. When necessary, the Council may create sub-committees to study specific matters of university-wide concern and report back to the Council. In addition, the individual members of the Council may serve in a liaison role to their respective schools/departments. It shall be an important duty and responsibility of all members of the Council to attend meetings for the sake of continuity in discussion and voting. Voting may take place in-person or virtually (online) and at least 50% (quorum) of the Council's voting members must be represented for a vote to pass, unless otherwise determined by the Council. Motions under consideration will be determined by a simple majority.


Current Members

April Akinloye
Assistant Vice President for Community Belonging
Office of Community Belonging

Sara Barton
University Chaplain
Office of the Chaplain

Lila Carlsen
Associate Provost
Office of the Provost
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
Seaver College

La Shonda Coleman
Associate Dean of Student Affairs
Title IX Coordinator
Student Affairs

Tanya Cooper
Assistant Clinical Professor
Caruso School of Law

Jaye Goosby Smith
Co-chair, University Diversity Council
Vice President for Community Belonging
Chief Diversity Officer
Office for Community Belonging

Terra Hall 
Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Diversity and Belonging
Student Affairs

Sandra Harrison
Executive Director
Office of Student Accessibility

Seta Kahjarian
Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Bernice Ledbetter
Dean of Students 
Graziadio Business School

Eric Leshinsky
Student Veteran Affairs

Chalak Richards
Assistant Dean of Student Life, Diversity, and Belonging
Caruso School of Law

Mark Roosa
Pepperdine Libraries

Britta Steinbrenner
Chief of Public Safety
Public Safety

Eric Wilson
University Church of Christ

Maria Wright
Director of Talent Management
Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Jennifer Vaughn
Assistant Professor
Graduate School of Education and Psychology

CJ (Christopher) Jones
Senior Director of Student Services
School of Public Policy

Dawn Emrich
Director of Public Safety Administration
Public Safety

Kyle Stiemsma
Human Resources