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MU Appoints Interim Diversity Officer, Remains Committed to Promoting Diversity on Campus

September 9th, 2011

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – MU Deputy Chancellor Mike Middleton has named Noor Azizan-Gardner as interim Chief Diversity Officer for the University of Missouri. As chief diversity officer, Azizan-Gardner will head the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative (CDI) and provide leadership, consultation and support to enhance diversity at MU.

Noor Azizan-Gardner will serve as interim Chief Diversity Officer for the University of Missouri.

“The CDI will continue to enhance diversity at MU through collaborative partnerships with the entire campus to meet our diversity goals,” Azizan-Gardner said. “A campus that is inclusive and welcoming is the critical foundation for us to build upon the values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence which defines our campus culture. An engaged, diverse campus also will give our faculty, staff and students the competitive advantage necessary to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

Azizan-Gardner previously served as the director of diversity programming and professional development in the CDI. She has worked with intercultural issues locally, nationally, and internationally for more than 18 years. Azizan-Gardner is a highly sought-after speaker in her specialty area of intercultural competency and leadership. Throughout her career, she has presented many intercultural competency lectures and workshops and has consulted on diversity and intercultural competency for the private and public sectors, the police and armed forces.

MU Deputy Chancellor Mike Middleton believes Azizan-Gardner will continue to cultivate and advance diversity throughout the Mizzou community.

“Chancellor Deaton and the entire university remain committed to providing a rich, diverse experience for MU’s students, staff and faculty through the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative,” Middleton said. “With Noor in this position, I am confident the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative will continue to offer a rich array of opportunities for all of the university’s various individuals and groups to come together to learn about and celebrate their differences.”

Through the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative, MU constantly strives to become a more inclusive, creative and innovative learning and research environment with the ultimate goal to facilitate the competent functioning of students, faculty, staff and administrators in a diverse and competitive global society.

The CDI provides resources and services to foster a diverse environment on the MU campus.  Programs and activities of the CDI include the bi-annual MizzouDiversity Summit, the Diversity in Action seminar series that highlights diversity-related research at MU, and the You in Mizzou dialogue series.  The CDI also houses the MU Equity Office which is a resource for faculty, staff and students who believe they may have been subjected to unfair or inequitable treatment.  The office has recently launched the “See-it, Hear-it, Report-it” campaign to encourage bias incident reporting. The CDI is conducting the University’s third campus climate study this fall.