In case you missed it: Topics on Inclusion

The Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence hosted three events this spring called Conversations about Inclusion. A short summary for each follows along with a link to online video. The topics were:

  • Faculty Workloads and Rewards.
  • The Role of Religion in Inclusion.
  • Everyday Practices that Can Foster Inclusion.

Faculty Workloads and Rewards panel

View video here.

Sharon Bird, professor and head of sociology at Oklahoma State University, discussed her work comparing ADVANCE institutional efforts for organizational equity at two universities. Both institutions developed institutional transformation projects at the department level to facilitate equity and address faculty retention. Though the two universities adopted similar approaches, they differed in that one emphasized training on implicit biases and gendered organizations and was more open-ended in its efforts, while the other emphasized developing skills for democratic dialogues and required departments to develop and adhere to strategic plans for change. She then outlined the outcomes of both universities' approaches and their implications for developing best practices.

Based on her National Science Foundation project, KerryAnn O’Meara, professor of higher education at the University of Maryland, College Park, discussed her work on gender differences in faculty workloads at research universities. She explored whether women are more likely to be asked to do service and other "non-promotable activities." She emphasized how department conditions and practices can either facilitate or reduce workload inequality. O’Meara is also the director of the university's ADVANCE Program for Inclusive Excellence, an affiliate faculty in women’s studies and associate dean for faculty affairs and graduate studies. She is the principal investigator of the NSF-funded ADVANCE-IHI-PLAN, Faculty Workload and Rewards Project (2015-2020).

Role of Religion in Inclusion

View video here.

The four Purdue panelists were Gulcin Con, graduate student in sociology; Carolyn Johnson, director, Diversity Resource Office; Ashley Purpura, assistant professor, interdisciplinary studies; and Renee Thomas, director, Black Cultural Center. Panelists reinforced the need to challenge monolithic notions of people who practice different religions including those who are religiously unaffiliated. Given how religion plays a role in people’s daily lives, including people who are not religious but may enjoy cultural celebrations associated with certain religions, panelists provided suggestions about how we can be inclusive without being intrusive about people’s religious beliefs.

Everyday Practices that Foster Inclusion

View video here.

The four Purdue panelists were Jean Beaman, assistant professor, sociology; Angela Goldenstein, managing director, Mechanical Engineering Research Center; Rhonda Phillips, dean, Purdue Honors College; and Rachel Scarlett, graduate student; Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Discussion highlighted racialized and gendered experiences of underrepresented groups on campus and in the community. Panelists emphasized the role of allies in fostering inclusion. Discussions also included the challenges and suggestions for creating sustainable initiatives at Purdue that can foster inclusion in everyday practices.

For more information about the center and its programs, contact Mangala Subramaniam, chair and director of the Butler Center, at In September the Butler Center will host the ninth annual Conference for Pre-Tenured Women. Details regarding the registration and fellowship application will be provided in July at

May 2018

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