To Professor of Business Clark Hallpike, MBA, equity, diversity, and inclusion work is a lot like coaching – you put in the work and expect results. "Thinking back throughout my years at ECC, I've always had a commitment to diversity," recalls Hallpike. "In my 45 years here, the whole concept has evolved quite a bit on campus, but it's been my passion to bring cultural awareness and change concerning equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the classroom and the community."
A hallmark of Hallpike's equity work is MAGIC - The Multicultural and Global Initiatives Committee, which he has been involved with since it first formed as the Diversity Committee 25 years ago. MAGIC aims to prepare individuals to succeed in a diverse society by providing and supporting multicultural events and programming at Elgin Community College and within District 509 with the ultimate goal of creating an inclusive environment at the college.
Through MAGIC events, such as the recent Black Lives Matter (BLM) series and the 2018 Targets of Hate series, the organizers aim to engage faculty members because of their ability to reach and impact their students directly. Faculty are encouraged to attend MAGIC events and bring their students, then continue the discussions afterward in their classrooms. "Part of our goal is to change people's attitudes related to EDI and get our students acclimated to the world in which they live," said Hallpike. In MAGIC discussions as well as his classroom, he operates within his three “I" philosophy: "My goal is to present topics in a way that is interesting, informative, and inspiring."
In his business and marketing classrooms, Hallpike assigns papers that explore topics like affirmative action and biases in media to help all students understand the perspectives and importance of an EDI lens in the working world. "Our students must be prepared to live and work in an increasingly diverse environment," says Hallpike. "Students take a variety of classes towards their career goals; however, many have minimal exposure to diversity topics."
To encourage students to pursue a more diverse course load, Hallpike is working with the Student Success Infrastructure (SSI) team on an EDI designation program. The proposed initiative will notate student transcripts when they successfully complete four courses from the designation list. "All students need academic exposure to matters of equity, diversity and inclusion. Black students and, more broadly, students of color need particular exposure as they invariably must advocate for themselves," says Hallpike, "and these courses will help better prepare them for the workplace."
Last year, Hallpike helped form the Black Employee Support Team (BEST). As a core member of BEST, Hallpike meets bi-weekly with four others to discuss strategies focused on supporting and promoting Black excellence on campus for both employees and students. One key element of that strategy is an endowed scholarship for Black students funded by Black employees. BEST meetings also bring together members to collaborate on classroom initiatives or discuss challenges to equity on campus.
Supporting employees, especially faculty, ultimately supports student success, especially Black student success, which is always at the forefront of Hallpike's mind. "The success of Black students affects all of us," he notes. He is currently working on a proposal to create a stronger culture of support for Black excellence at ECC. Institutional data shows that Black students graduate ECC with a lower average grade point average than white students. Hallpike's proposal would focus on coaching Black students in pairs. "Coaching is results-oriented, and we have to see improvement and achievement in all students to get to the next level of excellence." His goal is to get this coaching program launched within the next five years, just in time to celebrate his fiftieth year on campus.