How to Achieve DEI within a University | Pamala Morris


Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Ep. 149 - As Assistant Dean for the College of Agriculture and Director of the Office of Multicultural Programs, Dr. Pamala Morris introduced diversity in the university system by starting a new department that has now expanded diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the university. Dr. Pamela Morris serves as an assistant dean and full professor with the college of agriculture at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. She developed and implemented two diversity awareness courses that serve as two out of three ways to fulfill a new Multicultural Understanding Requirement at Purdue. In this episode, Pamela narrates her journey from an elementary educator to a higher learning educator with excellent achievements in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Listen in to learn how Pamela was able to work smarter under much opposition to develop diversity and inclusion programs. You will also learn the value of having a diverse, equitable, and inclusive educational institution.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to surround yourself with people that inspire you to want to do more with your life
  • The importance of advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the education system

"We want frameworks that help to build inclusive environments so that everybody feels good about being a part of that environment." -Dr. Pamala Morri

In this episode you’ll discover:

How Pamela’s parents influenced and gave her opportunities to get educated [1:49]

Why she pursued elementary education after initially wanting to pursue nursing [4:38]

How she went from an elementary educator to a higher learning educator at Purdue [6:31]

How pursuing a doctorate program led her to Purdue’s main campus from Maryland extension [10:14]

The diversity efforts she made to ensure that everyone at Purdue was included [14:13]

How she educated herself with ideas to enable her to run a diversity and inclusion office [20:04]

The impact of her diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on students and inclusive excellence [26:41]


Pamala Morris wears several hats within the College of Agriculture, but all of her roles serve a similar purpose; to enhance inclusion and effective communication within the College of Agriculture and amongst agricultural academic communities. As assistant dean of the College of Agriculture and director of the Office of Multicultural Programs, Morris leads the multicultural education for faculty, staff and students. She developed two diversity awareness courses, which can be taken to fulfill the college’s Multicultural Understanding Requirement. As a professor in the Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication, Morris develops initiatives to educate the public about pressing agricultural issues facing the global community.


Pamala's work takes her across disciplines and the country. She has been a member of the National Association for Multicultural Education since 2000 and serves as project leader for eXtension’s virtual Community of Practice. The eXtension organization is an online platform where land grant universities can share resources and research.


Dr. Pamala Morris has received widespread recognition for her work promoting diversity in higher education. These accolades include the National Award for Diversity from the USDA and the Ann Hancook Award from Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.


Purdue: Pamala Morris


Purdue University College of Agriculture


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