News & Events

New administrator will continue Liberty’s efforts to foster unity and diversity on campus

February 21, 2018
News & Events

New administrator will continue Liberty’s efforts to foster unity and diversity on campus

February 21, 2018

When Greg Dowell, Liberty’s new Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, came to Liberty in January, it was a reunion-of-sorts — he previously served at Liberty in the 1990s, first as Liberty’s dean of minority and international students and later as its dean of students.

Dowell is responsible for the oversight and planning of all facets of the equity, inclusion, and compliance strategy at Liberty, including initiatives through the Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME), and assisting with underrepresented student recruitment and retention.

Dowell is excited about his new role, but rather than introducing drastic changes, he desires to “build upon the excellent work already in progress, strengthen the existing infrastructure to foster a more diverse and inclusive environment, and infuse a spiritual component into traditional diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

He added that equity and inclusion on a Christian campus must be predicated upon the understanding that every student, faculty, and staff member was created equally by God and is worthy of love and acceptance as His child. Dowell wants to create a culture and climate where everyone knows they are welcomed and valued. “The plan is to make equity and inclusion everybody’s business. I want to inspire people to create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere in their particular area, and then we will celebrate that together.”

Students take part in a cultural talent and fashion show for International Education Week in November. Liberty has close to 800 international students. (Photo by Nathan Spencer)

In 1992, Dowell co-founded the Minority & International Student Office at Liberty, later renamed the Center4ME. Dowell will work directly with the center, which offers several events every semester, with many chances for students to engage in dialogue about race relations. In November, Center4ME staff participated in a panel discussion during Convocation with Benjamin Watson, tight end for the Baltimore Ravens. Watson addressed the crowd on the issues of social injustice and racial inequality.

Dowell spent the last 14 years pastoring a local church and managing a successful consulting firm for ministries and businesses. When it comes to starting conversations that bring about positive change and promote racial harmony within the university community, Dowell will draw upon previous experience serving different groups, including college students, business professionals, his church family, and even military members as an Air Force veteran.

“Any program or conversation that involves race relations can be touchy, but this ought not to be among believers. With the Lord’s help and wise strategic decisions, Liberty can lead the nation in this area as well,” said Dowell, who will also oversee Liberty’s Title IX Office and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. “We aren’t doing our work here from a politically correct standpoint. We’re doing it from a scripturally correct standpoint.”

Dowell earned his Master of Divinity from Liberty and is currently nearing completion of his Doctor of Ministry. His wife, Mary, also graduated from Liberty and is director of the undergraduate simulation center for the School of Nursing. They have five children, three of whom graduated from or are currently studying at Liberty.

(Photos by Kevin Manguiob)

NFL star Ben Watson (right), a tight end for the Baltimore Ravens, sat down with President Jerry Falwell and a panel of students and staff from Liberty’s Center4ME to discuss social injustice and racial inequality in America during the Nov. 10 Convocation. Watson has become a national voice for diversity and unity, and in light of current events making news headlines across the country, he encouraged Liberty students to help drive the conversation about healing the country’s racial divide with biblical principles. Visit Liberty.edu/Center4ME for more information on how Liberty is striving to prioritize campus diversity and continue productive dialogue.

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