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Cross Talk Series at West shares new philosophy, new look of ASU's Office of Equity & Inclusion


January 04, 2011

The 2011 Cross Talk Series at Arizona State University’s West campus begins on Jan. 20 and features Kamala Green, senior director of the university’s Office of Equity & Inclusion (OEI).

The series, sponsored by the West campus Campus Environment Team (CET), is designed to create an opportunity for faculty, staff, administration and students to hear about different organizations, departments, programs and key individuals affiliated with ASU.

 “We have so many people and programs working diligently to promote and implement ASU’s focus on inclusion,” said Margot Monroe, a senior human resources consultant for six years at the West campus, and current CET chair. “The Cross Talk Series allows us the unique chance to bring people together and to introduce to them the many opportunities and services provided by the university.”

The Jan. 20 kickoff will focus on the “new look and philosophy” of OEI (formerly ASU’s Office of Diversity), the ASU work environment, current hiring practices and equity and inclusion on all four ASU campuses (Tempe, West, Polytechnic and Downtown Phoenix). Green will answer questions that can be submitted at the door or from the floor or, prior to the event, via email to Jenny.Davis@asu.edu. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunches and enjoy refreshments on hand in the University Center Building’s (UCB) La Sala A. The Cross Talk is from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Green, who joined OEI in September, boasts 15 years of management experience, including 11 years on the human resources leadership team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. She will lead ASU’s diversity initiatives while working with university units to address and resolve issues and promote a positive work environment.

“From my perspective, this series is extremely important for faculty, staff and students to feel engaged,” said Green. “It will help them better understand concerns and issues which may arise on campus and how they are addressed, as well as the opportunity to exchange ideas on how to improve communication and processes.

“This series will open the door for networking and sharing best practices; it also presents the possibility of developing new working relationships.”

Upon her joining ASU, Kevin Salcido, ASU associate vice president and chief human resources officer, noted of Green, “Kamala brings great experience working in a challenging, dynamic research enterprise and has a strong passion for diversity. She will be invaluable in facilitating the university’s hiring, promotion, development and pay practices to ensure they are as free of bias as possible, and will lead in the creation and delivery of training in building inclusive, discrimination-free work environments at ASU.”

“The development of this office is exciting, given all the possibilities as we move into the expansion of equity and inclusion at ASU,” said Green. “Diversity is viewed or defined by most as ‘race and gender’ focused, but it’s much bigger than these two very important areas. Once you have diversified your workforce, it is imperative that the institution is inclusive of resources, professional development, employment practices and more in order to retain great talent. We need to continue to find new and meaningful ways to increase morale and maintain a safe and comfortable work environment.

“The philosophy is clear – we are here to serve our clients.”

Green said she hopes a better understanding of her office’s role at the university and in the lives of its campus communities will be the result of her visit to the West campus.

“We want the ASU community to be familiar with the various functionalities that OEI maintains,” she noted. “The audience will be able to ask questions regarding hiring practices, employment practices and how the OEI is different from the former Office of Diversity.

“This office is a neutral party for addressing, investigating and resolving workplace issues. Neutrality is an important element we want everyone to understand. Additionally, I want to share with those in the audience how much we will collaborate with all ASU colleges, departments, units, including all levels of staff. In order for this office to succeed, my team must develop and maintain excellent working relationships with the university clients we serve.”

For more information on Cross Talk, contact Jenny Davis at 602-543-8400 or via email at Jenny.Davis@asu.edu.

After the Jan. 20 Cross Talk at the West campus, the Series will return to the Tempe campus on Feb. 23, 12-1:30 p.m., in Memorial Union, Room 240.  The topic, "Popular Culture and the Construction of Reality," will feature David Altheide, ASU Regents Professor and faculty member in the School of Social Transformation, and Matt Newman, assistant professor in the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.