Northwest’s Board of Regents approved naming University Police Chief Clarence Green the vice president of culture for the University.
Green assumed the role as VP of culture May 3. He will focus on University strategy, namely in the areas of retention and human resources. His duties also include helping study institutional data and striving to maintain Northwest’s culture by evaluating and assessing the needs of students, staff and employees.
He will work as an Institutional Research and Effectiveness liaison for Northwest’s leadership team, reporting directly to President John Jasinski while remaining chief of police.
Green said he is looking forward to the changes and filling new roles for the leadership team.
“I’m eager to take time to understand and assess where we are as an institution,” Green said. “From students and their connections to our campus and community, as well as employees and how we can better retain those who are underrepresented.”
The new position comes amid an institutional leadership change, as well as a plan to refocus academics as the forefront of Northwest’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
An unexpected change came when Vice President of Strategy and Operations Nola Bond and her family decided to relocate, leaving her position June 30.
Green will assume some of her duties, including strategy and human resources.
Green’s former position as vice president of DEI is subsequently eliminated as a University position.
Jasinski said Bond will be missed.
“We are thankful for Nola’s service and contributions, which will have long-lasting impacts within human resources as well as strategy and operations,” Jasinski said.
In February, Green evaluated the DEI for areas of strength and areas in need of improvement and made suggestions based on 36 peer institutions all similar in size and structure to Northwest, utilizing what Green called a mixed-methods research model.
The University conducted surveys and other satisfaction data to interpret responses from 115 individuals on Northwest campus, as well as others from the community, various alumni and faculty and staff.
Green made recommendations to Jasinski based on responses and findings during his evaluation. He advised a larger focus on academics first and removing barriers underrepresented students face while adjusting in the classroom.
Jasinski reviewed the recommendations and aligned with Green on how to go about the change for the 2019-20 academic year.
“I wish to be very clear: our commitment to issues of DEI is unwavering,” Jasinski said May 17 in All That Jazz. “We are seeking to enhance our focus on academic performance through our actions.”
Jasinski said retention is a large focus following Green’s evaluation.
“Northwest’s retention and graduation rates of underrepresented students are significantly less than majority students,” Jasinski said. “Our new alignment and reallocation for an associate provost of DEI will focus on academic support for underrepresented students with metrics centered on retention and graduation.”
In correspondence to an academic focus in DEI, the University allocated for an associate provost of DEI who will focus on academic support for underrepresented students. This position is not yet filled.
Green noted that while DEI provides plenty of opportunity for students to feel included from an organizational standpoint, some still feel unrecognized in their efforts to succeed academically.
“We have a lot of activities and organizations, so we need more of a focus on how to maintain those students who still feel disconnected when it comes to the classroom,” Green said.
Director of Diversity and Inclusion Justin Mallett said the realignment to a greater focus on education should provide the office consistency.
“We’re going to collaborate with the Student Success Center, looking at retention of underrepresented students and emphasizing metrics we have in place to see if our current methods are effective,” Mallett said.
Mallett noted Green’s commitment to every student’s success and his giddy, likable personality.
“Clarence (Green) does a lot for our students, and even before he helped with DEI, he was always involved in helping out our student population,” Mallett said.
Board of Regents chair Patrick Harr said he is confident in Green’s ability to fill a large role in Northwest’s leadership team.
“He builds great relationships with students and staff and really knows what students need when they need it,” Harr said. “We trust he will take this position to the next level and find ways to increase our retention numbers for those students in need.”