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Sept. 15, 2011 Volume 33, No. 4

Azizan-Gardner tapped as MU’s interim chief diversity officer

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Noor Azizan-Gardner


New chief specializes in intercultural competency

Noor Azizan-Gardner has been appointed interim Chief Diversity Officer for the University of Missouri. Azizan-Gardner will head the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative (CDI) and provide leadership, consultation and support to enhance diversity at MU.

Azizan-Gardner, who previously served as the director of diversity programming and professional development in the CDI, said the initiative will continue to enhance diversity at MU through collaborative partnerships with students, faculty and staff.

“A campus that is inclusive and welcoming is the critical foundation for us to build upon the values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence which defines our campus culture,” she said. “An engaged, diverse campus also will give our faculty, staff and students the competitive advantage necessary to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

Azizan-Gardner has worked with intercultural issues locally, nationally, and internationally for more than 18 years. She is a highly sought-after speaker in her specialty area of intercultural competency and leadership. Throughout her career, she has presented many lectures and workshops and has consulted on diversity and intercultural competency for the private and public sectors, the police and armed forces.

MU Deputy Chancellor Mike Middleton believes Azizan-Gardner will continue to cultivate and advance diversity throughout the Mizzou community.

“Chancellor Deaton and the entire university remain committed to providing a rich, diverse experience for MU’s students, staff and faculty through the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative,” Middleton said. “With Noor in this position, I am confident the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative will continue to offer a rich array of opportunities for all of the university’s various individuals and groups to come together to learn about and celebrate their differences.”

The Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative provides resources and services to foster a diverse environment on the MU campus. Programs and activities include the bi-annual MizzouDiversity Summit, the Diversity in Action seminar and the You in Mizzou dialogue series.

The CDI also houses the MU Equity Office, which is conducting MU’s third campus climate study this fall.