Associate Dean of Student Engagement & Chief Diversity Officer
Promoting a positive campus environment
Charleston Southern University’s diverse community consists of individuals varying in ethnic makeup, cultural background, age, language, educational and professional experience, veteran and socioeconomic status from multiple regions in the United States and a variety of nations. This exposure to faculty, staff and students from diverse backgrounds with unique experiences and perspectives enriches education and personal development in the classroom, residence halls, student organizations and campus community. To support CSU’s mission, the Office of Diversity welcomes your ideas and participation in the planning of educational programming, sharing experiences and talent.
In alignment with the institution’s biblical core values, the Office of Diversity is designed to promote a positive and supportive campus climate for all faculty, staff and students.
The university regards diversity as an enhancement to its mission of promoting academic excellence in a Christian environment; therefore, the Office of Diversity seeks to cultivate a campus community that prepares students, faculty and staff to serve in diverse contexts.
CSU is affiliated with the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and the Intercollegiate Black History Month Consortium.
How Diverse is CSU?
- 3,349 Enrollment (2,733 Undergraduate / 616 Graduate)
- 31.6% People of color
- 64% Female / 36% Male
- 18% Out-of-state undergraduates representing 40 states
- 41 Countries represented by international students
- 15.4% Undergraduates age 25 or older
- What is diversity?
Charleston Southern University defines diversity as people groups varying in ethnic makeup, cultural background, age, language, educational and professional experience, veteran and socioeconomic status. Our commitment to diversity is biblically informed; therefore, the university engages and supports diversity related-matters as they are defined by Scripture.
Genesis 1:27 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Because all people are made in God’s divine image, they possess full dignity and are worthy of respect.
Matthew 22:39 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus’ command for us to love others as ourselves extends to all people.
Revelation 7:9 “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb . . .”
- What is inclusion?
Inclusion exists when individuals or groups (as defined in the university’s definition of diversity) are embraced as full members of the institution.
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
- What is equity?
Equity is the process of being fair or impartial toward others.
James 2:2-7 “For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ and you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,’ have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?”
- What is multiculturalism?
Multiculturalism recognizes that numerous cultures exist within society in addition to one’s own. Furthermore, believers’ understanding and appreciation for these diverse cultures should be guided by the following principles:
- Diverse cultures display God’s creativity and role as the sovereign, Creator God (Gen. 1; Neh. 9:6; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11).
- The final, eternal state (heaven) will include different people from diverse cultures (Rev. 7:9).
- Believers should show respect for different cultures for the advancement of the gospel (1 Cor. 9:19-23, 10:23-33).
- Christianity is marked by a definite exclusivity in regard to certain truths (Exod. 20:2-3; John 14:6, 3:36; 1 Tim. 2:5). Thus, believers cannot regard every philosophical, religious or ethical idea from diverse cultures as equality true or valid. Christians are not moral relativists.
- Christians cannot affirm a cultural practice that Scripture regards as sinful (Rom. 1:18-32; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Thess. 4:1-8).
Meet the Diversity Council
The CSU Diversity Council is composed of faculty, staff and students who have been recommended because of their influence, excellence in leadership and passion to see diversity efforts on our campus grow. The purpose of the Diversity Council is to promote the university’s understanding of diversity as found in the institution’s diversity statement, to plan diversity events for the entire campus and to keep a finger on the pulse of campus diversity.
- Council Members
Dr. Crissy Ortiz – Chair
Dr. Jennifer Whipple
Professor Andrea Glover
Mrs. Beth Myers
Rev. Jon Davis
Mr. David Padilla
Ms. Lydia Johnson
Rev. Timothy N. Grant – Diversity Officer
Cultural Diversity Committee
1 Chronicles 16:24 “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”
The Charleston Southern University Cultural Diversity Committee implements programs that highlight minority cultures on campus. At CSU, diversity is a core element in academic excellence, and it is a reflection of a caring Christian community. We seek to ensure an academic environment that welcomes, recognizes, respects and celebrates the heritage and culture of all students. The Cultural Diversity Committee is composed of faculty and staff who are committed to celebrating diversity on the CSU campus under the direction of the vice president of academic affairs. https://thebestschools.org/resources/resources-for-black-college-students/
- Committee Members
Glorimar Blanco – Chair
Stephanie LeVan – Vice Chair
Jill Terhaar Lewis
Kathleen Love – Secretary
Clark Carter, Dean of Students – ex-officio
Timothy N. Grant – Diversity Officer