A letter from the Chief Inclusion Officer
After a career in higher education that has spanned over 25 years, I am thrilled to serve as the first Chief Inclusion Officer at Stanford Graduate School of Education. This role allows me to work with the brightest minds in education—our students, faculty, and staff are truly the best of the best—while pursuing my desire to help build an inclusive and diverse community.
My mission is to help the GSE become an intentional community of grace. We all make mistakes—and in trying to learn how to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds, mistakes are inevitable. At the GSE, we are quick to acknowledge those mistakes, quick to apologize when we make them, and quick to forgive the transgressor. We encourage people to point out things that bother them when they happen, and we promote the idea that we are all intelligent people of goodwill who pledge to grow from our mistakes.
This is a very exciting time to work on issues of diversity and inclusion at the GSE; our new program in Race, Inequality, Language and Education empowers doctoral students to research and understand critical issues facing educators. Rapidly increasing diversity in school settings everywhere requires educators who are sensitive to cultural differences. The RILE program allows students to apply theoretical knowledge to these complex real-world settings.
In addition, our students, staff, and faculty are quite serious about these issues—we don’t see just see inclusion as a nice add-on or the right thing to do; rather, inclusion is central to our mission of creating new and better ways to achieve high-quality education for all.
That mission builds on the Stanford traditions of innovation and creativity. In fact, Senator Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane Lathrop Stanford, founded the University “to promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Studying the theory and practice of education is a way to do exactly that.
We are passionate about the importance of diversity to the educational enterprise. We seek people from a wide variety of backgrounds with an equally wide variety of experiences to share their perspectives as students, as researchers, and as educators with our community. I encourage those of you who want to understand why and how kids learn and how we can build schools that will better serve those kids to learn more about the amazing community here at the GSE.
Chief Inclusion Officer, Stanford Graduate School of Education