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ACU board to discuss renaming the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Friday's meeting

The Abilene Christian University board of trustees is set to discuss a proposal to change the name of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Friday's meeting. In a letter to the board, ACU President Phil Schubert said administrators find themselves in conversations in which they must try to “redirect radical misinterpretations of our intent.” Schubert’s letter stresses that the university has made progress in the 25 years it has directed efforts toward what it originally called “multicultural enrichment”, and suggests that ACU return to that language.

Hansen Penya, a senior sociology major at ACU started a petition on Change.org opposing the name change. He says he’s pleased that in 24 hours the petition gained more than 850 signatures, “It’s a lot of support. There have been some professors that are onboard with it. I’ve seen some of their names. And from the students, there’s been a lot of sharing that link around on social media and it’s sparked some much-needed conversations about the issue.”

Penya says he is still trying to figure out what to do with the petition since the board of trustees' meetings are closed.

In a memo to President Schubert Chief Diversity Officer Anthony Williams affirmed the renaming of his office, noting that the term has become politically charged. Williams said using “Office of Multicultural Enrichment” will allow a restructured entity to remain focused on the objective of supporting ACU’s diverse student body to be able to excel.

Heather Claborn joined KACU as news director in January 2018. She oversees daily newscast and feature reporting and works with KACU’s news anchors to develop newscasts. She also conducts two-way interviews, reports for newscast and feature stories and maintains the station’s social media and website content. In 2020, Claborn helped staff develop the daily newsletter that is delivered by email.