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Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School

Graziadio Diversity Initiatives

The PhD Project

The Pepperdine Graziadio Business School has been a long-standing supporter and sponsor of The PhD Project, which was founded upon the premise that advancements in workplace diversity could be propelled forward by increasing the diversity of business school faculty. Through the support of our university and others like us, The PhD Project helps Black/African-Americans, Latinx/Hispanic-American and Native Americans attain their business PhD and become the business professors who will mentor the next generation of leaders.

Presidential Action Advisory Team

Pepperdine President, Jim Gash, has commissioned a Presidential Action Advisory Team to make recommendations on tangible steps that Pepperdine can collectively implement to embody a diverse, loving, and unified community. The team, which consists of approximately twenty members broadly representative of the Pepperdine community from among our faculty, staff, students, administration, and alumni, will work closely with the diversity committees, councils, and officers throughout the university in formulating proposed action steps. 

Pepperdine’s clear mission and calling is to lead in the work of love and justice in the context of centuries-long racial violence and the oppression of the Black and other marginalized communities. Graziadio's Associate Dean of Full Time Programs, Dr. Abraham Park, gladly accepted the call for service and will be part of the charge as an advisory team member. The overall goal of the team is to continuously create a community of inclusion, where every member of the Pepperdine family feels loved, heard, and celebrated for their individual intrinsic worth.

University Diversity Council (UDC)

The Pepperdine University Diversity Council (UDC) is a University-wide council composed of faculty, staff, and students who join with senior management in a collaborative effort to create strategic plans and goals for diversity in alignment with our Christian mission and vision. This involves implementing programs that increase and enhance student, faculty, and staff diversity at all levels of the University. Mark Tribbitt, associate professor of strategy and Valerie Nowacki, director of talent management are the representatives for Graziadio. 

The UDC functions as an advisory council and recommending body to the Office of the Provost and liaison to departments across the university toward diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  1. Develop strategic initiatives in alignment with the university strategic plan with annual goals to improve practices related to recruitment, retention, and promotion of diverse faculty, staff, and students.
  2. Promote knowledge, skill, and institutional practices toward diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  3. Maintain an active line of communication with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) in analyzing data regarding institutional diversity.
  4. Provide a forum for consultation on diversity climate issues that arise throughout the schools.

Meet Pepperdine University’s Chief Diversity Officer

Jay Goosby Smith

In March of 2021, Dr. J. Goosby Smith was named the chief diversity officer and inaugural vice president for community belonging at Pepperdine University. This induction is one of many initiatives brought forward by the University, to cultivate a community of deep belonging and foster a diverse, united family across all schools. In her new role, Dr. Smith reports directly to President Jim Gash, serves as a member of the University’s Steering Team, and is a principal leader on the University Diversity Council for which she previously served as inaugural faculty co-chair in 2005. 

Learn more about the value of diversity, inclusion, and community belonging fostered by Pepperdine University here