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About the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sense of Belonging Initiative

Learn more about our work.


Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence Barb Lundberg
Phone: 715-682-1344

Explore the Initiative

The work of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sense of Belonging (DEIS) Initiative is guided by a charge issued by Northland College’s Board of Trustees. A DEIS Task Force, operating within the DEIS Charge, further guides this work. The full language of the DEIS Charge is available here, as well as more detailed information about the DEIS Task Force.

The central coordinator for the DEIS Initiative is the assistant dean for inclusive excellence. This position reports to the Office of the President.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Sense of Belonging (DEIS) Charge

Issued February 25, 2022

Northland College was founded in 1892 as a higher education institution that welcomed all people. With a focus on access and inclusion, Northland has demonstrated its commitment to a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff through the years and has proudly graduated countless students who have gone on to make the world a better place, both physically and socially.

The needs and expectations of our students continue to evolve. To prepare and equip our students for the challenges and opportunities of the future, Northland must continue to assess our priorities and adapt as needed.

Northland has always placed an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Now, more than ever, the changing landscape of higher education and student demographics, as well as continued occurrences of identity-based violence in the United States and across the globe, demands our attention. To fulfill our mission and goals, the College must assess and reinvest in our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of what we do, including our curriculum, programs, and demographics.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not a final destination; they are essential elements in a continuing journey. They must be woven into the fabric of Northland, with the goal of achieving a true sense of belonging among all members of the Northland College community.

Accordingly, the Board of Trustees charges the College with taking necessary steps to advance these goals, including, but not limited to:

  • Conduct a comprehensive Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sense of Belonging (DEIS) study among all members of the campus community (faculty, students, staff, and trustees).
  • Develop and embed DEIS goals and measurable outcomes into all campus departments and units.
  • Develop and launch a comprehensive DEIS strategic plan that will progressively but boldly advance the institution’s focus and efforts to ensure and optimize the potential for all members of the Northland community to experience a sense of belonging.
  • Reinforce and elevate the connection between DEIS efforts and the Office of the President in order to eliminate barriers and demonstrate the priority of this charge.

Enrollment and retention of students remain as core goals, but these cannot be maximized unless students feel an authentic sense of belonging. Through this reinvestment and renewed focus on DEIS, Northland will continue to thrive and successfully prepare students to lead the world toward a more sustainable, just, and prosperous future.

Adopted: February 25, 2022
Northland College Board of Trustees

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sense of Belonging Task Force

It’s not possible to do this work without input from our campus community. To foster an inclusive process, we’ve assembled a DEIS Task Force with representation of people from across campus—including students, faculty, and staff. The Task force meets regularly to discuss, plan, and help carry out the work of the DEIS Initiative.

The assistant dean for inclusive excellence, who reports to the Office of the President per the DEIS Charge, is the lead coordinator for the full Task Force and each of its work groups.

Task Force Membership

A call for Task Force members went out to all students, faculty, and staff at the end of the 2021–22 academic year. All were given an equal opportunity to reach out to the assistant dean for inclusive excellence and indicate their interest in joining. Each interested person was asked to answer a few questions to help ensure there would be representation of diverse perspectives and experiences. Originally comprised of an equal number of students, faculty, staff, and College trustees, membership has since changed as members’ availability shifted.

Full Task Force Members

This membership list is current as of December 1, 2023. Composition of the Task Force may change, and those updates may not always be reflected on this list right away.

Barb Lundberg (assistant dean for inclusive excellence)
Emily Cardenas (student)
Mike Fiorio (College trustee)
Greg Gilmore (staff)
Andy Goyke (faculty)
Noah Goyke (faculty)
Dylan Jennings (staff)
Carmen Jordan-Cox (staff)
Tommy Mackey (faculty)

Sue Niemi (staff)
Dani O’Brien (faculty)
Savannah Pasella (staff)
Alexander Patterson (staff)
Kevin Schanning (faculty)
Grace Stolen (staff)
Trevor Tover (staff)
L Wilkins (student)

Task Force Work Group Members

The Task Force has several work groups that each focus on a particular facet of the overall initiative’s work. Work group membership was determined based on Task Force members’ interest and availability, with no specific criteria beyond that. A small number of work group members are not on the full Task Force, but were asked to join a work group based on their expertise in a particular area of focus.

Work group membership lists are current as of December 1, 2023. As with the membership list for the full Task Force, changes to the composition of Task Force work groups may not always be reflected on this list right away.

Climate Work Group

Barb Lundberg
Greg Gilmore
Noah Goyke
Tommy Mackey
Dani O’Brien

Data Work Group

Barb Lundberg
Greg Gilmore
Dani O’Brien
Alex Patterson
Trevor Tover
L Wilkins

Communications Work Group

Barb Lundberg
Emily Cardenas
Grace Stolen

Definitions Work Group

Barb Lundberg
Andy Goyke
Noah Goyke
Tommy Mackey
Dani O’Brien