Board of Trustees approve new chair and cabinet position for inclusion and community

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At a press conference held on May 11, the new chair of the Board of Trustees was announced as well as the addition of an Inclusion and Community position to the President's Cabinet. 

Kathy Vrabeck'85 will be the new elected chair of the Board of Trustees. Vrabreck was included on a Hollywood Reporter list of the "100 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment," according to DePauw's website. 

Vrabreck said that the leadership before her has been great and plans to continue on the same track. "I am not expecting to do anything tremendously different than all of the great chairs who have come before me," Vrabreck said. "I am going to focus here working over the summer with working closely with Marshall and Dr. McCoy on what the agenda is for the Board and the University going forward."  

The new cabinet position will be focusing on diversity and inclusion, and the position was added to the cabinet as a result of the 6 bias incidents over the span of one week in April. 

"Given what has transpired over the last week, the Board has reaffirmed its commitment to diversity and inclusion," outgoing chair of the Board, Marshall W. Reavis IV '84, said. 

The budget for said position has not been approved because the University's budget for 2019 has not been finalized.

The specifics of what the position would entail have not been decided. President Mark McCoy said that the University has "engaged a couple of different firms to come in and help us do what they are calling an equity score card."

Once the firms come to DePauw and give the University their "equity score," the Cabinet and the Board will have a better understanding of the skill set required and what the job would entail. The cabinet member would be reporting to McCoy 

"When people ask me is the institution safe, the answer is yes. But if it doesn't feel safe then it doesn't matter so what we are trying to do is build an inclusive environment," McCoy said. 

Vrabreck and Reavis said that the Board did not discuss the public map, published by multiple students and student organizations, that shows where sexual assault has happened on campus. They had not been made aware of the map nor of the sheet signs hung around campus that said, "Rapists exist at DePauw."

The map shows 95 alleged sexual assaults over the past five years and the information in the map was collected through an anonymous survey with 82 participants over a three-month period. 

The sheet signs have been taken down because according to an email from dean of students Myrna Hernandez and dean of campus life oversight for campus activities Dorian Shager the sheet signs have been removed because the signs and maps “can be triggering to others, particularly in this heightened time of stress and safety concern.”

Hernandez and Shager's email also said that the sign did not follow the Campus Publicity and Display Policy. 

When asked by The DePauw whether the Board had conversations in general about making Title IX more accessible, McCoy said he doesn't know what they can do.  

During their meetings, the Board also met with an architect for the campus housing master plan, which looks to remodel current campus housing. The Board also discussed the energy plan. 

The Board of Trustees were here for their yearly meeting and there were about 40 voting members on campus according to Reavis.