DEIA Advisory Council

Fairleigh Dickinson University President Christopher Capuano announced the creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Council in September 2020 to identify concerns, make recommendations and develop initiatives that will help FDU become a model community rich in inclusiveness and diversity. 

Dale Caldwell, Executive Director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, has served as council chair since its formation. “If the University can become a model of diversity, equity and inclusion, it has the potential to significantly increase its enrollment of students and engagement of employees,” says Caldwell. “The Advisory Council has the potential to support the President and Board of Trustees in implementing plans that will enhance the University’s educational, operational and financial success.” 

Through its guidance, planning, and analysis, the council will help to ensure the University is fulfilling its commitment to creating and nurturing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus environment and to building a community that promotes and celebrates a culture of diversity, accessibility, and inclusion, as well as mutual respect and understanding among students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni.  

In 2022, the council’s scope was broadened and it was renamed the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Advisory Council to reflect the additional emphasis on making our campuses not only more inclusive but more accessible as well. At that same time, sub-committees were formed focusing on Academic Affairs and Student and Community Life. Each of the committees are focused on four key areas including: campus culture and belonging, educational programming, engagement and retention, and building diversity pipelines. The membership includes representatives from throughout the University.  

Latest News

President’s Note — Newly Charged DEIA Council — April 22, 2022

President’s Update DEI Initiatives Sept 7, 2021

Commitment Statement


Fundamental to its mission, vision, and core values, Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is committed to creating and nurturing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus environment that fosters mutual respect and understanding among students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni.

FDU embraces a culture of open mindedness, diversity of thought, and cultural expression. The University encourages multiple perspectives to enrich the educational experience for the University community. FDU emphasizes understanding cultural experiences and perspectives by cultivating respectful communication among members of the FDU community.

The University is focused on ensuring that students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni thrive personally and professionally in a global environment in order to challenge and reject racial divisiveness, prejudice, systemic privilege, and oppression. To this end, FDU does not tolerate discrimination or bias based on race, religion, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, sex, ability status, age, nationality, and socioeconomic class.

DEIA Advisory Council members

  • Dale Caldwell, Chair – Administration/Faculty
  • Shalin Mehta – Student
  • Maame Mensah – Student
  • Kayla Nierva – Student
  • Julia Ring – Student
  • Gene Waddy – Alumnus
  • Traci Banks – Administration
  • Marc DeBoer – Administration
  • Mark Robertson – Administration
  • Luz Huertas Castillo – Faculty
  • Ana Guerra – Faculty
  • Khyati Joshi – Faculty
  • Marion McClary – Faculty
  • Jordan Nowotny – Faculty
  • Martha Pitts – Faculty
  • Linda Raffaele Mendez – Faculty
  • Kathryn Spence – Faculty
  • Alwin Wagener – Faculty
  • David Miles – Public Safety
  • Joseph Vitiello – Public Safety
  • Mark Sapara – Alumnus
  • Elizabeth Catrini – Alumna