MSU Diversity Council

November 18, 2021

1:30-3:00 pm



Ariel Donohue- Chair,

Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer


Alison Harmon - Interim Chair,

Academic Deans


Marianne Brough- Division of Student Success


PJ Diamond- Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons


Mayuri Singh – Student Diversity Representative


Nicole Divine- All Staff Council


Bridget Kevane- Academic Diversity Partner- CLS


Kyla Bush- Bobcat Athletics


Brennan Reeves- Office of International Programs


Bradford Watson- Faculty Senate


Michael Lee- Graduate Partnerships


Isabella Roccisano- Associated Students of MSU












Other Participants




Kristin Ruppel


Dani Hess


Juliana Rajamohan

ASMSU's Diversity Director




  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. Approval of minutes from October 21st meeting-- Approved
  3. WINHEC Accreditation Update: Kristin Ruppel, Department of Native American Studies
    Kristen Ruppel—WINHEC—world indigenous nations higher education consortium.   Purpose—ways to validate Indigenous programs.  Native American Studies, within a predominantly white institution-- received provisional accreditation in the past.  Recently sought full accreditation.  In 2018, worked with Jill Mackin (defending doctorate in history in the next week) to think about approaching this again.  Long process confirming eligibility, self-study (more than a year), pulled Major Robinson into the work—was cultural liaison for new American Indian Hall.  Included outreach to plant knowledge holders around the state.  What should the surrounding landscape look like? Not just grass.  This contributed to the self -study.  In 2020 the self-study was accepted.  Plans were made for a site visit.  Interrupted by pandemic.  Continued to stay in touch.  Roxanne DeLille—from Fond du Lac WI.  Set up a hybrid site visit for Fall 2021.  October 10-17.  Planned with grand opening of the American Indian Hall.  They hadn’t experienced an organization like ours—Native American Studies and the American Indian/Alaskan Native Student Success Center.  Fully accredited with WINHEC for 5 years.  Pushing us to have an oversight board for WINHEC Accreditation, curriculum, recruiting, assessment, student success programming.  Are we walking the talk of our cultural standards?  What are our values, standards that we infuse into everything we do?  What is the evidence of all of that?  We can see that what you are doing is working due to enrollment and activities.  But we cannot see exactly how you are doing it.  We need to do a better job telling that story.  We have a 5-year plan outlayed for us—with benchmarks.  They will return in 5 years.  The Native American Studies and Student Success Center is what is accredited.     

    What do you aspire to that other units could help with?—We are required to develop the cultural oversight board.  This will require time and money.  Establishing that would benefit the entire university.  So, it should be supported by other units too.  WINHEC Accreditation would help all Native students on campus.
  4. City of Bozeman equity efforts: Dani Hess, Neighborhoods Program Coordinator, City of Bozeman

    Community Engagement Coordinator is new title.  Equity Initiatives are presented to the City Commission.  The Commission sets strategic plan goals for diversity, equity and inclusion.  Goal:  every resident visitor and city employee feels welcome.  Internal review of policies happened broadly in July 2020, and resulted in 24 recommended actions.  Several actions have been completed.  The community roundtable was a recent event (PJ and Ariel assisted).  Next steps were discussed about how to close gaps in the data.  120 people participate.  There was an equity commitment.  Focused on Childcare gaps—many low income families are not qualifying for subsidy programs.  Housing Cost Burden—pay over 30% of your income on housing.  Low income families more likely to pay more than 30%.  Final report is available online.  Next step:  Develop an equity and inclusion action plan for the city.  Will kick this off in Spring 2022.  Evaluating diversity on advisory boards.  Want to continue to foster relationships and build partnerships in the city. is a link to the Equity Indicators Report.

    See tables below for projects completed and in progress.

    Does Bozeman city have a housing voucher program?  Subsidies are provided by federal dollars through HRDC.  With the new census data that might change.

    How can MSU help? Getting plugged into the Diversity Council would be good for the City. Need to hear from members of the community they hadn’t heard from before.
  5. Public Comment
    1. Juliana Rajamohan: Updates from the ASMSU DEI Council.  Connects students, senators, and faculty/staff.  8 applications for 3 member positions.  Interviews will be after fall break.  Steering committee meetings will be in December.  After winter break, there will be a public forum.

      Diversity Symposium next year—if you have featured speakers, please submit names.
  6. Upcoming Diversity Events: see


PJ Diamond: Put out a call for ideas for MLK day, partnering with athletics who is providing funding.  Coordinating with BSU, ASA, Bobcat athletics committee to start planning.  Focusing on advocacy and mental health.  Thursday January 20th, Ballroom A is reserved. An event may be Thursday evening—dinner and a speaker. 

Getting ready for multicultural graduation celebrations.  One for multicultural and one for lavender celebration.

DISC is moving to lower level of the SUB (previous Veteran’s Center).   Who is in charge of the space, and what are the ground rules?  Learning from student groups.  Soft opening in February, the start of black history month. 

Nicole Divine:  All Staff Council, the DEI Committee, and D’Andre Daniels are developing the RISE (Respect, Inclusion, Service, Equity) Staff Scholarship for staff members and their dependents.  The award consists of a Bobcat parking pass and a commuter meal plan with a total value of $660.00.   The ASCDEI hopes to make three awards this year with funding from their existing budget and grow the scholarship through Giving Day and other sources in the future.


Next meeting: Thursday, January 20th; 1:30 – 3:00 pm