Chatters Named Chief Diversity Officer
Midland University has named Dr. Lawrence Chatters as its new Chief Diversity Officer. Dr. Chatters has served as Vice President for Student Affairs since January of 2019 and will continue to serve in that capacity along with his new role.
The newly created position will allow Dr. Chatters to expand on Midland’s continuing pursuit of inclusivity throughout campus. Midland is the most diverse college in the state of Nebraska with 31% of its student population from diverse and racial-ethnic backgrounds. “As the most diverse institution in the state, this is a logical step for us,” Dr. Chatters said. “We celebrate our diversity and what comes with that diversity. What makes our Midland community unique is that we have people coming together from all over the world to get an education. It adds to the richness of a liberal arts education.”
Since becoming VP for Student Affairs, Dr. Chatters has fostered a community of equity and inclusion through student organizations and events. During the 2019-20 school year, Dr. Chatters helped introduce the Together: Bridges into the Future series that featured speakers from diverse cultural backgrounds providing discussions on diversity, equity, and inclusion. He also helped launch Midland’s first Equity and Inclusion Summit where attendees were presented with the opportunity to learn how to create inclusive spaces and develop ways they can incorporate inclusion into their everyday lives.
Dr. Chatters is looking forward to expanding on many of the ideals Midland already has in place. “We have been focusing on equity and inclusion and doing things that most schools our size are not doing,” Dr. Chatters said. “We are moving in the right direction and this is a solidification of that progress. It’s exciting to be a representative of the movement we are making to ensure Midland is a more inclusive space for everyone.”
Midland University President Jody Horner said the university is focused on its role as an innovator in equity and inclusion among its students. “We take great pride in being the most diverse institution in the state,” Horner said. “With his background and the work he has done at Midland regarding equity and inclusion, Dr. Chatters is a perfect choice to lead in this new role. He will continue to develop and grow the great programs he has already put in place at Midland.”
As a Midland graduate, ‘02, Dr. Chatters understands that inclusivity and equity needs to exist for all students. “I arrived here 22 years ago as an African-American male on a campus that didn’t have a lot of diversity at that time,” Dr. Chatters said. “I looked around and didn’t see many people who looked like me and I felt a little lost. There might be students on campus that experience that same feeling, and I want them to know that there is an office that will work to make them feel like they belong. That’s my goal.”
“I’m excited for this opportunity and I believe this is the right time. We are uniquely positioned to take the lead on being the most inclusive campus in the state and I’m going to be relying on our entire Midland family to build a brand that is inclusive. When people see that “M” I want them to think of inclusivity.”