Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania announced that it would be permanently shutting down its Office of Equity and Inclusion, for good.
The announcement was made on March 7, and will come into effect towards the end of the 2022 spring semester, according to an official statement from the University.
According to school newspaper The Globe, SGA President Dennis McDermott fought the closure with “everything in [his] power.”
The Glove reported: SGA President Dennis McDermott said that SGA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair Eli Bagaporo notified the Executive Cabinet on Friday, Feb. 25 that the office would be “disbanded” before the start of the Fall 2022 semester.
“I’m going to do everything in my power in my last semester here as president to make sure this doesn’t happen,” McDermott said. “And we accomplished some big things last year, and I can’t make any promises, but if I have any say in it, it’s going to stay exactly how it is.”
An article titled “Office of Equity and Inclusion to be dispersed; services and positions will be shifted to other campus offices” states that the mission statement of the Office of Equity and Inclusion currently is to “wholeheartedly foster institutional equity, diversity, and inclusion by raising awareness and implementing strategies and tools to shift mindsets and align all members of the campus community with creating a culture of appreciation, acceptance, and inclusion for all individuals at every level of the institution,” according to its PointSync page.
Dr. Michael Soto of the University said that in regards to Title IX and “other similar compliance roles,” that “with a national search underway for a General Counsel, the compliance area has requested that it be housed under that position, which is a more natural fit.”
The school’s staff that works in diversity, equity and inclusion training will “be moving to the Center for Inclusive Excellence, including the Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Training Michael Thornhill.”