President Schatzel honored by Associated Black Charities for Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion

By Ray Feldmann

“Champion for More in the Middle” Award presented to TU president at sold out Martins West gala

Recognizing her strong national leadership in the areas of diversity and inclusion, President Kim Schatzel was honored Saturday night with the Associated Black Charities (ABC) 2017 “Champion for More in the Middle” award. ABC President and CEO Diane Bell-McKoy presented the award to Schatzel at the organization’s annual gala held at Martins West.

Bell-McKoy said the “Champion for More in the Middle” award is set aside for those individuals and organizations operating at the local level to bring about change that will lead to greater economic equity in the region.

”Prior to your leadership at Towson University,” Bell-McKoy said, “the university had struggled with issues of inclusion, diversity, and equity. Under your leadership, diversity, inclusion and cultural competency became one of your top eight priorities.

“As a priority,” she continued, “you instituted a very clear and transparent strategy to bring about measurable change. We look forward to your continued leadership and continued changes at Towson as a regional employer.

“Your unwavering commitment to this as a core part of your educational agenda is to be applauded,” Bell-McKoy added.

Schatzel said she was pleased to receive the award on behalf of Towson University.

“This is a wonderful honor,” the university’s 14th president said. “I am very humbled and accept it on behalf of the incredible team at TU that is deeply committed to advancing thriving inclusiveness across our campus community.

“We work hard to foster a diverse and inclusive campus and educational experience that ensures every one of our students thrive and reach their fullest potential at Towson University,” Schatzel added. “We strive for thriving inclusiveness of all races, ethnicities, religions, gender identities, sexual orientation and levels of ableness.”

According to ABC’s website, “More in the Middle” is the framework the organization utilizes to advocate and promote the need to address issues associated with structural race-related barriers that limit opportunities for citizens of color. “In limiting the opportunities and not addressing the systemic barriers faced by people of color, we seriously harm the collective future of the state,” ABC said.

“It is great educational organizations and leaders like you that help create more access and opportunity as a result of your advocacy,” ABC said of the award to Schatzel.  “Towson University models excellence in leadership and understands the value of contributions to the community. We salute you!”

Earlier this year, Schatzel was invited to present at a joint session of the American Council on Education (ACE) and the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), speaking on "Campus Leaders Creating Healthy Campus Climates."

In her comments at ACE-NADOHE, Schatzel observed that on most campuses, a diverse classroom and campus is increasingly an essential component of higher education and a high-quality university experience. .

"All of us are empowered to do these things in our respective roles on our campuses," she said at the March conference. "As a president and senior leader, however, it is my responsibility and challenge to ensure we are communicating and fairly representing those imperatives, values and vision with multiple constituencies and stakeholders, each with their own perspectives and experiences."

University System of Maryland Board of Regents appointed Schatzel as TU’s 14th president of TU in fall 2015, and she officially began her leadership of the University System of Maryland’s fastest growing campus, and Greater Baltimore’s largest university, on January 25, 2016.

Since arriving, Schatzel has made progress on eight presidential priorities for expanding Towson University’s role as a pre-eminent institution of higher education within Greater Baltimore, Maryland, and the Mid-Atlantic region. Highlights of that progress include strengthening the university’s position as an anchor institution for Greater Baltimore through the creation of BTU: Partnerships at Work for Greater Baltimore, an initiative aimed at advancing opportunities with business, community, non-profit, educational and governmental partners.

Diversity has become a hallmark of the university under Schatzel’s leadership, and reinforces its unique value proposition as one of the most diverse campuses in the state of Maryland.  As the definition of diversity expands, Towson University will continue to take tangible steps to advance thriving diversity and inclusion on campus and in the community.

Prior to joining Towson University, Schatzel served as interim president of Eastern Michigan University (EMU), while continuing her responsibilities as provost and executive vice president of academic and student affairs, a position she held since 2012.

Schatzel also brings more than 20 years of corporate, new venture, and start-up experience to the Towson University presidency, including serving as founding president and chief operating officer, and later as chief executive officer of a multinational industrial firm employing more than 1,500 people on four continents. She serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Maryland St. Joseph's Medical Center and CollegeBound Foundation. She was also recently named among The Daily Record’s 2017 Influential Marylanders.

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland and Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Campus.