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April 4, 2012 Volume 33, No. 26

Staff Advisory Council discusses domestic partner benefits


Diversity Initiative workers considering adding heterosexual couples to benefits package

Noor Azizan-Gardner, interim chief diversity officer, told the Staff Advisory Council March 22 in the Student Center that the Board of Curators needs to render a decision on whether the University of Missouri System will support domestic partner benefits.

“This is pretty important for us to have closure on,” Azizan-Gardner said.

Her talk came at a time when the council is discussing whether Mizzou should make efforts toward formally supporting the benefits, which would extend employee health care benefits to same-sex couples but not to unmarried heterosexual couples.

Diversity workers are examining the projected funding differences of adding heterosexual couples to the domestic partner benefits package, Azizan-Gardner said. 

During her Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative update, Azizan-Gardner said that Mizzou has launched a student ambassadors program and diversity training collaborative. It is also planning for a cross-departmental bullying steering committee and a diversity course via Blackboard’s online learning website. 

The goal behind diversity education is to make MU the kind of campus that everyone feels comfortable on.

“It’s about everyone,” Azizan-Gardner said.