About the Director
Dr. Kareem Jordan, an associate professor in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology, was appointed the inaugural SPA Director of Diversity and Inclusion in February 2020. Dr. Jordan has served in multiple leadership positions at AU and other academic institutions, most recently as Graduate Program Director in JLC. In this role, he led programmatic efforts, recruitment, and mentorship of doctoral and master’s students in the department.
In each professional role, Dr. Jordan helped to lead efforts to diversify faculty, staff, and the student body. He helped recruit applicants from historically marginalized communities, lobbied university administrators for targeted hires to increase diversity, recruited students from non-predominantly white institutions (e.g., historically black colleges and universities and hispanic serving institutions), and worked with university administrators to limit the impact of structural racism and sexism in formal processes, including hiring, retention, and promotions.
Dr. Jordan is a race scholar, focusing mostly on how race and ethnicity influence criminal court sentencing, court outcomes, juvenile court decision-making, etc. Additionally, he has used public polling data to examine issues such as consumer racial profiling, airport profiling, and race-based responses to contemporary events, like the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Dr. Jordan is also the co-author of Race and Ethnicity in the Juvenile Justice System. Finally, he is the former co-editor of a scholarly journal: Race & Justice: An International Journal.
Role of the Director of Diversity and Inclusion
The Director of Diversity and Inclusion reports to the dean of the School of Public Affairs and serves on the school’s senior leadership team. The director advises the dean, associate deans, and department chairs on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the school. Additionally, the Director represents SPA to the AU community on DEI matters relevant to university initiatives, and chairs the SPA Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which is now includes faculty and staff but and will soon welcome students and alumni. Finally, the director leads strategic efforts within the school to help create and maintain equity and inclusion values, such as:
- Continuing to increase the number of faculty members who identify with historically under-represented racial/ethnic groups
- Contributing to written reports on how to increase inclusive pedagogy at American University
- Increasing equity in tenure, promotion, and re-appointment processes
- Created a SPA minor in Race, Politics, and Justice
The director, in consultation with the dean, has set forth the following, measurable goals:
- Recruit, retain, and graduate a diverse body of undergraduate and graduate students
- Recruit, hire, and retain diverse faculty and staff
- Review and develop curricula which focuses directly on DEI
- Integrate DEI into evaluations and promotions of faculty and staff
- Have a school environment that promotes inclusivity