Lisa Scott will not return as Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion

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Lisa Scott will not return as Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion

Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion Lisa Scott helped organize the community response to various hate incidents last year.

Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion Lisa Scott helped organize the community response to various hate incidents last year.

Madie Miller (‘19) I Photo Bureau

Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion Lisa Scott helped organize the community response to various hate incidents last year.

Madie Miller (‘19) I Photo Bureau

Madie Miller (‘19) I Photo Bureau

Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion Lisa Scott helped organize the community response to various hate incidents last year.

Alanna Pals, Staff Writer

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Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion Lisa Scott’s contract is not being renewed, and she will no longer fill this position after the spring 2019 semester. The position will persist, but it remains unclear who will fill it.

Scott arrived at Luther as an interim dean in August 2017.

“The Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion is a permanent position,” Scott said. “In 2017, a search for the dean position did not yield a final candidate. As a result, I was hired as a 2-year interim in this position.”

The position was previously titled Executive Director of Diversity and was not a cabinet-level position. The position was initially created because of activism by campus organization Just Action, the Diversity Council, and faculty members. Director of the Center for Intercultural Engagement and Student Success Wintlett Taylor-Browne saw the arrival of a new president on campus as an opportunity to create the position of Executive Director of Diversity in the fall of 2014.

Thu Pham (‘20) I Photo Bureau
Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion Lisa Scott speaks at a reception dinner for women of color, which she organized.

“When President [Paula] Carlson came, it was the opportune time to get some movement,” Taylor-Browne said. “We need to have somebody with the skill and the knowledge in the President’s cabinet that would help us to craft a direction for the college.”

Scott was the first person to be hired as the Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion. She created a number of cultural competency trainings for the president, the cabinet, directors of different programs, and people in different departments. These trainings helped prepare Luther faculty and staff with more skills to respond to situations in a culturally appropriate way.

Scott works with colleagues and students across campus to promote equity and inclusion in academia, residential, co-curricular, and professional life of the college. She serves as a member of Carlson’s senior leadership team, and worked with Student Life on a review of a number of the policies and procedures of Luther College.

“She is a key leader on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion across the college,” Carlson said.

Vicky Agromayor (‘19) I Photo Bureau
Interim Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion Lisa Scott interacts with Sthela Gun Holly Hanitrinirina (‘19) at a Women and Gender Studies welcome reception and art exhibit.

According to Taylor-Browne, the creation of Center for Intercultural Engagement and Student Success was another change that Scott brought to Luther. The CIES office was created to work differently than a diversity center to reflect new ideas and match the practices of other colleges and universities across the United States. Scott is responsible for the oversight of the CIES office as Taylor-Browne’s direct supervisor.

After the hate incidents on campus during the 2017-2018 academic year, she worked to make it possible to have a workshop and listening session through the position of Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion. The workshops explained to people how to manage situations like Luther experienced to create more effective outcomes. Her work was meaningful for many students on campus, including International Student Ambassador Tamar Tedla (‘20).

“Just with her presence at different events with her being both instrumental in creating the events and then her attendance there really speaks volumes to how much she cares about not only her students but to have information about students who feel marginalized be heard,” Tedla said. “Her work here really just makes me feel a little bit better about being here.”

When asked whether or not Scott will remain on campus in some capacity, Carlson and Scott are still in discussion about that. The position is looking to be fulfilled by a new candidate who will bring to the job the kind of experience and abilities needed to build on to what Scott has already done.

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