NIRSA’s six strategic value areas were adopted in 2011 for the purpose of elevating and intentionally integrating our core values into the campus recreation profession. In establishing the Strategic Value Commissions, NIRSA affirmed that living our values will never be finished; once these values have been well integrated into the fabric of NIRSA, they will continue to be part of our daily work lives.

NIRSA’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Commission has done excellent work to provide resources to NIRSA members and help move the needle forward on this important value area within our profession. Their culminating, in-depth project, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: A resource guide for leaders in collegiate recreation, was launched at the NIRSA 2019 Annual Conference to much acclaim.

At the June 25 NIRSA Board of Director’s meeting, the Commission’s co-chairs, Wendy Motch-Ellis and Jim Wilkening, provided a final report to the Board that highlighted the group’s accomplishments. Among these many accomplishments are:

Having completed their charges, the NIRSA Board agreed with the recommendation from the EDI Commission to sunset the group as of July 1, 2019. The NIRSA Board of Directors, on behalf of the membership, sincerely thanks the many volunteers who have devoted their time and talent to leading NIRSA’s work in this significant value area.

The work of EDI, of course, continues. NIRSA’s 2018-2021 strategic plan made it a priority to “be a driving force in an integrated approach to health and wellbeing” and, in doing so, recognizes:

NIRSA will promote and foster the understanding that wellbeing is holistic—its multifaceted nature integrates our strategic values, particularly Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. In addition, a “culture of wellbeing” is one that necessitates inclusion of the whole campus community.

The Board remains committed to continuing to lead with NIRSA’s strategic values and to infusing those values, including equity, diversity, and inclusion, into all the Association does. To be successful in this endeavor, the Board is asking all NIRSA members to make a similar commitment to leading with these values in all that they do – within our Association, within our departments, on our campuses, and in our communities.

NIRSA members can also look forward to an updated edition of the EDI Resource Guide coming soon. As promised at the NIRSA 2019 conference, this version of the guide will include a robust references section, providing NIRSA members a wide array of options for continuing their education even future.

  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships Erin O’Sullivan.
Director of Recreational Sports at | NIRSA Profile

Leah Hall Dorothy, Ph.D., is currently the Director of Recreational Sports at Oregon State University and serves as the President on the NIRSA Board of Directors; she can be reached by email at