August 26, 2020

Purdue announces steering committee, launch of Purdue Equity Task Force

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University on Wednesday (Aug. 26) announced members of the steering committee that will guide and direct the work of the Purdue Equity Task Force throughout the fall semester.

Charged by and reporting directly to the Purdue Board of Trustees, the task force will work to develop a plan for all Purdue campuses with specific actions to ensure that all members of the university community have the opportunity to equitably experience everything Purdue has to offer, focusing on structural and environmental barriers to the success of students, faculty, and staff of color and specifically the experience of Black Boilermakers.

Led by trustee and Purdue alumnus Don Thompson, the initiative will incorporate the diverse perspectives of the Purdue community, and will include representatives from faculty, staff, students, and alumni. A dean’s advisory group and a separate planning group will advise and support the steering committee in its work.

As the Purdue Equity Task Force launches, the steering committee will establish working teams to include approximately 80 to 100 individuals from around the Purdue system with a goal of assessing the experience of Black Boilermakers and members of other diverse groups, using data to guide its efforts, and, ultimately, proposing solutions to move the university forward.

“Each and every member of this task force is coming from a different place, a different life experience, and with different perspectives. And all are personal and relevant,” Thompson said. “Each and every one of us will listen, we will ask questions and we will seek to understand where we are and where we need to be as an institution and a community.

“We intend that what we do this fall will forever change how students, faculty and staff experience Purdue University. I truly believe this can and will be one of the most impactful and important initiatives I have been part of as a member of the Purdue community and a Purdue trustee.”

Work has begun to identify members of working groups, which will meet throughout the semester with the direction to provide a report and implementation plan to the full board of trustees in December. Regular updates will be provided to the campus community via the steering committee and its representative groups, including Purdue University Senate, Purdue Student Government and Purdue Graduate Student Government.

Members of the steering committee:

  • Don Thompson, task force chair, Purdue Board of Trustees
  • Rodrigo Bañuelos, professor of mathematics, Purdue College of Science
  • Michael Berghoff, Purdue alumnus, chair of Purdue Board of Trustees
  • Theresa Carter, Purdue alumnus, Purdue Board of Trustees
  • Ken Christmon, associate vice chancellor of admissions, Purdue Fort Wayne
  • Kristin Early, professor, Criminal Justice Program, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Purdue Global
  • Assata Gilmore, Purdue Student Government president, Purdue Krannert School of Management
  • Julie C. Liu, associate professor of chemical engineering and associate professor of biomedical engineering
  • Lawrence Hamer, dean, College of Business, Purdue Northwest
  • Toni Munguia, director of recruiting, retention and diversity, Purdue Polytechnic Institute
  • Deb Nichols, University Senate chair; associate professor of human development and family studies, Purdue College of Health and Human Sciences
  • Madelina Nuñez, Purdue Graduate Student Government president; School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Purdue College of Liberal Arts
  • Venetria Patton, chair, Purdue Black Caucus of Faculty and Staff; professor of English; head, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Purdue College of Liberal Arts
  • Willie Reed, dean, Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Randy Roberts, 150th Anniversary Professor and Distinguished Professor of History, Purdue College of Liberal Arts
  • Alysa Christmas Rollock, vice president for ethics and compliance, Purdue University
  • Noah Scott, student trustee; Krannert School of Management, Purdue Board of Trustees
  • Shawn Taylor, Purdue alumnus, Krannert School of Management
  • Patrick Wolfe, dean, Purdue College of Science

Media contact: Tim Doty,

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