Traci Guinn, during open forum for associate VP of diversity: 'We are ready to sit down and create new initiatives'

Zack Wittman/Staff Photographer Dr. Traci Guinn, interim associate vice president for institutional diversity, presents her platform as a candidate for associate vice president for institutional diversity Tuesday afternoon at the Lake Superior Room in the Bovee University Center.

Traci Guinn shared her goals for the expansion and strengthening of diversity both at Central Michigan University and within the larger Mount Pleasant community at an open forum Tuesday afternoon.

Guinn, one of two finalists for the associate vice president for institutional diversity position, shared intimate details of her life; expanding on her childhood in Memphis, Tenn., her military father and her transition from life in the south to start a new life in Mount Pleasant.

Guinn credits her early experience dealing with diversity to her father, as well as walking through the streets of her neighborhood as a child.

"My exposure to diversity started from early on," she said.

Guinn started her career at CMU in 1998 and has been part of the faculty ever since. She currently holds the interim associate vice president for institutional diversity position.

Guinn is determined to increase diversity on campus by encouraging enrollment of all different types of students. Guinn also wants to work with other colleges at CMU on diversity issues. She hopes to showcase the university's successes in this area, as well as what the university is doing to promote diversity.

"We are ready to sit down and create new initiatives," Guinn said.

Guinn said the community will be a large factor in the expansion of diversity, both on campus and in the Mount Pleasant area. She believes both the university and the community need to work toward, talk about and embrace change.

"We need to share that (diversity) is not a negative thing," she said.

Guinn explained her "first and foremost" commitment to CMU students and said student success is her motivation.

"Not only am I dedicated to the university, but also to the students, staff, faculty and community," Guinn said.

In the next few years, Guinn hopes diversity will be accepted by everyone. She hopes overcoming a lack of diversity will not be an issue in the near future and is optimistic about getting various initiatives started on campus.

"CMU is a phenomenal place to be," she said.

The forum for finalist Lawrence Burnley will be held today at 2 p.m. in the Lake Superior Room of the Bovee University Center.


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