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Notre Dame College has appointed its first formal diversity officer and has updated its diversity mission statement.

Sandra Golden, Ph.D., associate professor in the College’s division of professional education, begins the new position of director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at Notre Dame effective July 1. The role initially is a half-time appointment, with the transition to a full-time position planned over the next year or two. Until then, Golden will continue to serve as a half-time faculty member in education.

In this new position, Golden will be a member of the president’s leadership cabinet “so that issues related to DEI will always have a voice in our discussions,” said Notre Dame President J. Michael Pressimone, Ed.D.

The College already supports a DEI Committee consisting of several campus members, which is co-chaired by Golden and Chris Gill, Ph.D., dean of students at Notre Dame. The focus of the group is to create quality, rigorous and data-driven opportunities to engage the campus community in higher thought and awareness of its social-cultural society.

Golden brings extensive experience in diversity and social justice to the new position.

At Cleveland State University, Golden has served as coordinator of multicultural engagement and student success with the university’s Office of Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement. She has served with the planning committees for Women’s History Month and Martin Luther King, Jr. celebrations and for the Inclusion Excellence in the 21st Century Conference, all at the university.

Golden has chaired or co-chaired several groups throughout her career, including

a diversity council, a strategic planning committee and a Higher Learning Commission accreditation reaffirmation group. She has worked in multiple positions with the Kent State University Ohio Literacy Resource Center.

Previously at Notre Dame, she worked as education recruitment and off-site program coordinator for the College’s Office of Adult and Graduate Admissions.

Golden earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction and a Leadership Academy Certificate from Kent State; a Master of Arts in psychology, a Master of Education in adult learning and development and a Diversity Management Certificate from Cleveland State; a Bachelor of Science in management from Dyke College, now Chancellor University, in Seven Hills, Ohio; and an Associate of Applied Business in accounting from Cuyahoga Community College.

“The work of diversity, equity and inclusion continues to be more and more important as we try to build communities that enable all to have voices in conversations, places at the table and equitable access to the bounties of our society.  We also know that our work in this area is difficult and it requires our focused attention,” Pressimone said in a statement announcing Golden’s appointment. “As a mission-driven institution, this work needs to be at the center of campus life.  It cannot be taken for granted.”

The Notre Dame DEI committee, with the leadership of Golden, has updated the diversity mission for the group and the diversity statement for the College. The new versions are:

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is driven by the Notre Dame College mission and the Diversity Statement to ensure students, staff, faculty, alumni and stakeholders are knowledgeable, aware and competent in a shared vision of creating an equitable and inclusive environment that promotes our diversity.

The committee will uphold and respect that the diversity of all community members and stakeholders are valued, appreciated, recognized and celebrated. The DEI committee commitment is grounded in a definitive understanding that:

  • Diversity recognizes, values, and celebrates all aspects of diversity within our campus community and our society;
  • Creating equitable systems to uplift and support the diversity of our campus community is essential to the integrity of the NDC mission; and
  • Supporting an inclusive climate through policies, standards, and procedures that supports our academic and student services programs, human resources, funding opportunities, and the overall well-being of the organization is achieved.

June 2022

About Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college in South Euclid, Ohio, committed to teaching students how to make a good living and live a good life. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. For more information, visit NotreDameCollege.edu.