LSU Gold

LSU Athletics Culture and Engagement Coach & Staff Council

Purpose & Goals

Purpose

To further our understanding of Culture and Engagement through education while integrating inclusive practices into hiring, training and development, retention, and promotion. To be intentional and deliberate in our pursuit of equity and equality. To serve as the eyes and ears of department staff and coaches to bring forth, explore, and resolve issues and concerns.

Goals

Goal One: Implement mandatory educational opportunities for coaches and staff to further their understanding of Culture and Engagement. 

  • Step One: Collaborate with Dialogue on Race Louisiana to allow coaches and staff to participate in the community programming
  • Step Two: Facilitate interactive sessions covering uncomfortable topics regarding race (examples: kneeling for the national anthem, the Black Lives Matter movement, Jim Crow laws, separate but equal, police brutality, etc.) Examples of these sessions include, but are not limited to:
    • Host speakers to discuss social justice
    • Facilitate dialogue with individuals who have been personally impacted by racial inequality
    • Host book club discussions
    • Host movie watching opportunity and discussion
  • Step Three: Create an annual diversity education training program with a certificate of completion
  • Step Four: Build a digital Diversity, Equity & Inclusion resource library to be accessible to student-athletes, coaches, staff, and the community
  • Step Five: Assessment of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion understanding and departmental efforts integrated into all employee evaluations

Goal Two: Create a hiring manager training program to directly impact the recruitment, hiring, training, development and retention of underrepresented/marginalized individuals.

  • Step One: Collaborate with the Office of Diversity on training workshops
  • Step Two: Create accountability process for hiring managers
  • Step Three: Include an inclusivity/diversity statement on each job posting
  • Step Four: Create hiring advocates to utilize for all open positions
  • Step Five: Create a review process to evaluate hiring process after each hire
  • Step Six: Create a program to require coaches and staff to continuously provide names of potential candidates for any athletics jobs to grow a database of underrepresented candidates

Goal Three: Increase the number of underrepresented coaches in the athletics department 

  • Step One: Track the racial demographics of full-time coaches
  • Step Two: Evaluate the Russell Rule and Rooney Rule for potential implementation
  • Step Three: Utilize hiring manager training
  • Step Four: Ensure hiring practices that align with the goals created by the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Councils.
  • Step Five: Implement a formal retention and promotion program designed to focus on underrepresented coaches

Goal Four: Increase the number of underrepresented staff in the Athletics Department 

  • Step One: Track the racial demographics of full-time staff
  • Step Two: Evaluate the Russell Rule and Rooney Rule for potential implementation
  • Step Three: Utilize hiring manager training
  • Step Four: Ensure hiring practices that align with the goals created by the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Councils.
  • Step Five: Implement a formal retention and promotion program designed to focus on underrepresented staff

Goal Five: Implement an orientation program designed to provide a welcoming, informative and educational opportunity for new employees and their families 

  • Step One: Email introduction of new employees with details about the individual and his/her family to create dialogue and connections among staff.
  • Step Two: Provide a contact for new employees outside of their department
  • Step Three: Create a required diversity educational component for all new employees
  • Step Four: Formalize the onboarding process for new employees to encompass the Athletic Department diversity statement and other Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Councils’ initiatives within welcome packets

Goal Six: Implement a professional development program designed to provide opportunities for underrepresented employees

  • Step One: Formalize a program that encourages personal and professional growth that includes sharing the tools and experiences learned through growth opportunities with others at LSU
  • Step Two: Create mentorship and shadowing opportunities within the Athletic Department
  • Step Three: Provide information about and encourage participation in external leadership development opportunities
  • Step Four: Formalize a program that ensures staff leadership is aware of career aspirations of underrepresented coaches and staff

Goal Seven: Promote voter registration and voter turnout initiatives 

  • Step One: Educate coaches and staff on the history of voting and the electoral college
  • Step Two: Promote voter registration
  • Step Three: Promote “Get Out the Vote” (GOTV)
  • Step Four: Acknowledge and celebrate voter participation

Goal Eight: Create a departmental culture where employees feel appreciated and valued 

  • Step One: Implement culture climate exit interviews for employees
  • Step Two: Implement a way to celebrate employees and their accomplishments (i.e.: employee of the month)
  • Step Three: Implement a diversity component on all employee performance evaluations
  • Step Four: Create team/department building social support and connections
  • Step Five: Create health and wellness programming
  • Step Six: Implement formalized annual retention check-ins with employees to assess experience
Result

A transformational place to work, inspired by the diversity of its employees and the support of the inclusivity of its culture.

Council Members

Full Bio
Ashleigh Clare-Kearney Thigpen

Ashleigh Clare-Kearney Thigpen

Associate AD / Strategic Advancement
Full Bio
Michael Bonnette

Michael Bonnette

Associate AD/Communications (FB)
Full Bio
Ronnie Hamilton

Ronnie Hamilton

Assistant Coach
Full Bio
Cortez Hankton

Cortez Hankton

Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach
Full Bio
Ericka Lavender

Ericka Lavender

Associate Director of Academic Affairs
Full Bio
Kayla Lawson

Kayla Lawson

Director of Performance Nutrition, Olympic Sports (BSB, MBB, MT, WT)
Full Bio
Shelly Mullenix

Shelly Mullenix

Sr. Associate AD / Health and Wellness
Full Bio
Wendy Nall

Wendy Nall

Associate AD/Human Resources
Full Bio
Jon Pfeifer

Jon Pfeifer

Director of Buildings & Grounds
Full Bio
Milan Stokes

Milan Stokes

Human Resources Manager
Full Bio
Leighann Westfall

Leighann Westfall

Executive Director of External Relations and Letterwinner Engagement