Harrisburg Campus Hosts First Dean's Leadership Forum on Diversity
Published: April 27, 2007
diversity2The three Rs for diversity in higher education should be simple, says Frank W. Hale Jr., vice provost and professor emeritus from the Ohio State University. "Recruit, retain and release with a degree."

Hale was a featured speaker at the inaugural Dean's Leadership Forum on Diversity in Higher Education, held recently on the Harrisburg campus of Widener University School of Law.

Hale, who was one of 13 speakers throughout the daylong public conference, said academia has miles to go before it can be considered a model of diversity. Schools and programs with the greatest success are those that have strong leadership, he said. Hale is a nationally recognized expert and scholar in the area of higher education diversity.

"There's no sense in a university calling itself a university unless it has a sense of universality," he said.

Law Dean Linda L. Ammons established the Dean's Leadership Forum and plans to make the diversity topic an annual focus for the forum. "I want Widener and this community to be an example to the nation, an example of how to do what needs to be done."

diversity1Panelists for the day included Franklin A. Miles Jr. Esq., vice president, secretary and general counsel for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts; Peter Speaks Esq., deputy secretary and special advisor to the governor for minority, women-owned and disadvantaged business development; and Deborah C. Davis of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Employment Equity at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, College of Medicine.

Among those in the audience who said they were inspired by the day's discussions was Pedro A. Cortes, secretary of the Commonwealth. "Forums like this give you an opportunity, if you are open minded, to explore other views," he said. "I am here to support and I am here to learn ways I can become more active."

Ammons oversaw the event, which the Widener-Harrisburg campus Faculty Diversity Committee coordinated. The school is grateful to event sponsors Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP; Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company; Renardo L. Hicks, Esq., partner at Stevens & Lee, Lawyers diversity3and Consultants; McNees, Wallace & Nurick, LLC; and the Association of Corporate Counsel Central Pennsylvania Chapter.

Photo 1: Frank W. Hale Jr., PhD, of The Ohio State University, gave the morning keynote address.
Photo 2: Dorothy A. Brown, right, of Washington and Lee University School of Law gave the afternoon keynote address. Here she stands with Widener Law Dean Linda L. Ammons.
Photo 3: A panel on the pipeline from education to work included from left, Pamela Cross, assistant counsel for the Pennsylvania Department of General Services; Franklin A. Miles Jr., vice president and general counsel of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts; Samuel T. Cooper III of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC; David E. Lehman of McNees, Wallace & Nurick LLC; Renardo Hicks of Stevens & Lee; Jacqueline E. Bedard of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP; and Peter Speaks, deputy secretary and special advisor to the governor for minority, women-owned and disadvantaged business development.