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Jenkins receives 2011 Diversity Award

Observer Staff Report | Sunday, January 23, 2011

According to a University press release, University president Fr. John Jenkins was one of 14 individuals to receive a 2011 Champion of Diversity award from Indiana Minority Business Magazine (IMBM). Jenkins was recognized by the magazine at a Jan. 14 ceremony in Indianapolis.

The magazine honored the award recipients as “leaders in their respective fields, not only because they excel at what they do, but also because they are inclusive,” according to Shannon Williams, president and general manager of IMBM.

“This year’s esteemed group of awardees has promoted diversity with their hiring practices, outreach programs or have individually transcended racial or gender barriers,” she said.

Jenkins, in his sixth year as University president, acted upon the recommendations of two University committees to enact initiatives designed to enhance support for a diverse faculty.

These initiatives were based upon reports prepared by the University Committee on Cultural Diversity and the University Committee on Women Faculty and Students. Jenkins was recognized for the appointments of Don Pope-Davis, vice president, associate provost and professor of psychology, and Susan Ohmer, William T. and Helen Kuhn Carey Associate Professor of Modern Communication and assistant provost, to oversight roles for efforts related to faculty of color and women faculty, respectively. Their posts involve close coordination with deans, department chairs and others in faculty recruitment, hiring, retention, mentoring and development.

The award also honored the creation of the Moreau Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which is a two-year research, teaching and mentoring initiative for scholars studying or representing diverse groups. Another initiative recognized by the magazine was the Dual Career Assistance Program, which assists the spouses of recently hired full-time faculty and staff find potential employment opportunities in the area or at Notre Dame.

“The intellectual interchange that is essential to a university requires, and is enriched by, the presence and voices of diverse scholars and students,” Jenkins said last year. “Beyond the benefits diversity brings to all universities, we hold this commitment also because Notre Dame is a Catholic university.”

Jenkins was elected president-elect of the University by the Board of Trustees on April 30, 2004, and became the University’s 17th president on July 1, 2005.