The Maneater

Chuck Henson to step down as interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity

Interim Chancellor Hank Foley: “In this new role, (Henson) has made significant progress as we work toward a more inclusive and welcoming environment at Mizzou.”

Interim Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Chuck Henson is honored with other colleagues during halftime of the Missouri basketball game against Mississippi State on Jan. 30 in Mizzou Arena. Interim Chancellor Hank Foley announced in an email April 29 that Henson will be stepping down to return to teaching. Maneater File Photo

Chuck Henson, the interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity, will be leaving his position and returning to teaching this fall, interim Chancellor Hank Foley announced in an email to faculty, staff and students Friday.

Henson was appointed interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity in November following a series of announcements by the UM System Board of Curators introducing several new diversity initiatives, though the position was originally created in October by former Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.

“In this new role, (Henson) has made significant progress as we work toward a more inclusive and welcoming environment at Mizzou,” Foley said in the email. “I would like to personally thank professor Henson for laying the groundwork for this new division at MU.”

Foley said in the email that Henson was tasked with “ensuring that everyone who teaches, works, studies and visits at MU feels welcomed and included.”

“Since Nov. 10, he has been creating the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, getting input from a team of university leaders and reaching out to every constituency on campus and many throughout the community,” Foley said.

Foley also said in the email that, with the assistance of a search firm, a search will be conducted to find Henson’s replacement.

Foley noted in the email a few of the new programs in place through Henson’s division: Diversity@Mizzou, an orientation training program which all incoming students are required to go through; The Working Group, a group of student leaders who attend weekly meetings to talk about MU; and multiple new lecture series and seminars.

In March, student activist group Concerned Student 1950 protested The Working Group on a march through campus and said “The Working Group ain’t working.” Students marched to Henson’s office in Jesse Hall, where he came out and explained that administrators had met with Concerned Student 1950 three times.

Henson also released a video in response and said “the point of the Working Group is to move forward together.”

Henson had previously released a letter to Concerned Student 1950 after the group rereleased their demands.

“If you sincerely want better relationships, the time for demands, threats and arbitrary deadlines is over — you don’t need them,” Henson wrote. “I hope you’ll join with other concerned students in The Working Group to get down to the work of building.”

Edited by Taylor Blatchford | tblatchford@themaneater.com

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