Five minutes with Nathan Ziegler

MAKENZIE HUBER Editor-in-Chief

The “Five minutes with” series focuses on an SDSU faculty, student or member of the Brookings community. The interviewer spends five minutes speaking with a person to learn their specialty or something they are passionate about.


Nathan Ziegler is the director of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Access. He was hired spring 2017, previously serving as director of English as a Second Language (ESL).

Q:  What is the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access?

A: It’s a new office that the president formed to drive diversity, inclusion, equity and access as part of the mission of the university; including helping with programming centered around diversity, helping with curriculum and integrating that as a focus across the campus curriculum, helping with underrepresented student recruitment and faculty and staff recruitment, and looking at accessibility in how we’re providing accessibility for people with disabilities, or people who might have financial or physical needs they’re not able to get from their main campus.

{{tncms-asset app=”editorial” id=”8dbf81ac-8822-11e7-905a-9feaad9d6edc”}}

Q: What are some things or personal goals you hope to accomplish in this position this year?

A: This year I have a couple key initiatives I’m working on. The first is to establish a diversity council, which will be a campus-wide council that will include representation from every college, unit or department depending on their skills, as well as student leaders and organizations. The diversity council will sort of provide a place for people to bring together different issues or solutions to diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as provide guidance down to different diversity and inclusion committees to enact some change. …

Another thing I’m working on is developing the diversity academy, which will be a campus-wide co-curricular training on diversity and inclusion; and the academy will connect students, faculty and staff to different workshops that are currently happening …

The third primary initiative I’m working on is pulling this all together into a diversity communication that allows people to know what’s happening around campus related to diversity and inclusion matters. That includes guest speakers or student panels or different special events we have so people can get a sense on a weekly basis how they can participate in diversity and inclusion programming.

Q:  What are some of your responsibilities as director of Diversity, inclusion, Equity and Access?

A: I’ll be providing counsel and advice to the senior leadership team and the executive team, which includes the vice presidents and the chief of staff and legal council — as well as providing counsel to the president’s council, which includes the deans. So part of my role will be providing senior leadership centered around diversity and inclusion, in addition to being sort of the advocate for underrepresented peoples across campus — serving on different committees, working within different programs to help ensure students are being included and being treated equitably.