Following on BCLA’s extensive and successful Diversity/Inclusion strategic planning process, and to ensure appropriate leadership for implementation, continuity, and progress, the BCLA Dean has appointed a coordinator to lead and guide this essential work in the College. The BCLA Community will recall that, in fall 2018, we restructured the Dean’s team from three down to two associate deans. Part of the rationale was to allocate resources to support limited-term faculty-led strategic projects and initiatives related to College priorities. This will be the first-such position created, using existing resources, to ensure appropriate progress on one of our most important strategic priorities and commitments.
In this time of uncertainty in higher education and the related budget climate, we are acutely aware of how national progress in academic diversity, equity, and inclusion projects has fallen off in crisis moments. Around the country, diversity/inclusion efforts have been among the first to be unfunded, delayed, or forgotten about when budget challenges arise. Confronting those historical truths, BCLA is committed to overcoming that disillusioning and negatively consequential past and to ensuring that we will hold steadfastly to our carefully crafted commitments and continue unabated in striving toward our shared aspirations.
This new position, the BCLA Coordinator for Diversity/Inclusion Initiatives, requires a collaborator and champion of our distinctive academic mission grounded in our liberal arts traditions and Ignatian values and arising from excellence in teaching and mentoring, superb record of relevant scholarly achievements, and record of service and leadership. Under the direction of the Dean and in collaboration with the Dean’s Office team, the Coordinator will focus on facilitation of BCLA-wide discussions, new and continuing D/I mentoring and professional development initiatives, and efforts to produce improved climate in BCLA and in our departments/programs; direct management of D/I-related events and operations in the College; and provide related research and reporting. We are thrilled to announce that Stefan Bradley, professor and outgoing Chair of African American Studies, has agreed to serve in this role for a 2-year term.
With a B.A. from Gonzaga University, he is deeply familiar with Jesuit education and values; he served on faculty for many years at Saint Louis University (SLU), where he was tenured and had several years as an associate professor before coming to LMU in 2017 as Chair of our African American Studies Department. Through that role he serves on the BCLA College Council and the BCLA Planning Committee, which he co-chaired this year. Prof. Bradley is a well-respected scholar; his most recent book, Upending the Ivory Tower: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Ivy League (2018), received the History of Education Outstanding Book Award and the Anna Julia Cooper/CLR James Outstanding Book Award from the National Council of Black Studies. He is co-editor of Alpha Phi Alpha: A Legacy of Greatness, The Demands of Transcendence (2011) and author of the award-winning book, Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s (2009). His perspectives continue to be sought after by the Chronicle of Higher Education, for which he is a regular commentator, and other periodicals on matters regarding race and higher education. He lectures widely throughout the United States on these and related topics.
An award-winning educator, Prof. Bradley’s life ambition is to personally teach, mentor, and inspire young people who will change the world for the better. Social justice and diversity have been at the center of his educational philosophies and pedagogies. Throughout his career, Prof. Bradley has served on a multitude of diversity committees, commissions, and taskforces at every level. He served as Director of the African American Studies Program and chaired a presidential taskforce on Race, Poverty, and Inequality at SLU. There, he assisted in peacefully ending a week-long campus occupation in the wake of the uprisings in Ferguson. During the Ferguson crisis, Prof. Bradley engaged in discussions with representatives from the US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Commission, and Department of Education, and appeared as a commentator on BET, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, as well as in the New York Times.
In sum, Prof. Bradley’s record evidences his passion for working collegially with faculty and students, the ability to collaborate effectively across divisions and levels of the institution and with other constituencies, and success leading initiatives and managing complex projects. These abilities are grounded in his impressive, relevant, and impactful record of scholarship and teaching excellence. His experience most recently includes co-Chairing BCLA’s Diversity & Inclusion task force in 2018-19, and further working to develop our strategic implementation plan and timetable as a member of the BCLA Planning Committee. He is prepared and eager to continue this work in a new facilitating and coordinating role, while balancing ongoing responsibilities as a faculty member and teacher-scholar at LMU.