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The Deep Differences Project: Charrette Four – Struggling to Embrace Diversity: Presidential Reflections on Institutional Shortcomings

Virtual March 9, 2022 at 3:30 pm ET Public Event

Higher education has a long history of struggling to embrace genuine diversity, even when the (good)will is there. What are the historical, systemic, and institutional factors that have stymied efforts to center religious diversity in higher education, and what can we learn from this history? 

Join Presidents Marjorie Hass (Council of Independent Colleges), Mary Hinton (Hollins University), Omar Qureshi (Zaytuna College), and Carl Strikwerda (Elizabethtown College, Emeritus) as they explore the history and missteps of institutional efforts to embrace diversity, with a focus on the curriculum and campus life outside the classroom. In conversation with other college and university presidents past and present, this charrette will consider how critical interfaith engagement with – rather than glossing over – the religious and institutional history of our schools is essential to building more inclusive institutions. 

Participants will be invited to learn from and share case studies about attempts to embrace diversity that have worked and those that have not.  

Questions? Email

Join us in-person for HxA Conference 2022, June 12–14.


About the facilitators:

  • Marjorie Hass headshot

    Marjorie Hass, Ph.D., President, Council of Independent Colleges 

    Marjorie Hass has served as president of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) since the summer of 2021.  A philosopher by training, she is published widely on the philosophy of language, logic, and feminist philosophy. She is also an award-winning teacher, who served for more than 16 years on the faculty—then as provost—of Muhlenberg College, a position she held until she was named president of Austin College in 2009. As president of Rhodes College since 2017, Hass led a comprehensive and inclusive strategic planning process centering access and equity, positioning the college for success in the next decade. Under her leadership, applications increased by more than 20 percent and Rhodes has been named one of the nation’s most innovative liberal arts colleges by US News & World Report, a best value college by The Princeton Review, and Tennessee’s best liberal arts college according to Niche.

  • Mary Dana Hinton headshot

    Mary Dana Hinton, Ph.D., President, Hollins University

    Mary Dana Hinton, Ph.D., is the president of Hollins University. She is a member of the board of directors for the American Association of Colleges and Universities, Interfaith Youth Core, Saint Mary’s School, and The Teagle Foundation. She is currently serving a three-year term as an at-large board member with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and is the incoming chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), beginning in February 2022. She chairs the AAC&U Presidents’ Trust and is also a member of the Lumina Foundation’s Quality Credentials Task Force. 

    Hinton’s scholarship focuses on leadership and inclusion in higher education. She is the author of The Commercial Church: Black Churches and the New Religious Marketplace in America and is a frequent op-ed contributor across higher education publications.  

    Hinton earned a Ph.D. in religion and religious education with high honors from Fordham University, a Master of Arts degree in clinical child psychology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Williams College. She also holds honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Misericordia University and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. 

    Hinton is the recipient of the Bicentennial Medal from Williams College, and was recognized with Credo’s eighth annual Courageous Leadership Award. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. 

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  • Omar Qureshi Head shot

    Omar Qureshi, Ph.D., Provost, Zaytuna College

    Omar Qureshi is currently the provost and assistant professor of Liberal Arts and Islamic Studies at Zaytuna College, which he joined in August 2017. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts in Microbiology, he went on to complete his M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Science Education both from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Prior to Zaytuna College, for seven years Omar served as the principal and dean of academics for a parochial school located in Chicago’s West suburbs. While in Chicago, Omar completed his Ph.D. in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies: Philosophy of Education at Loyola University Chicago in 2016. His dissertation, entitled “Badr al-Dīn Ibn Jamāʿah and the Highest Good of Islamic Education”, treats the topic of educational institutional identity in the United States.

  • Carl J. Strikwerda headshot

    Carl J. Strikwerda, Ph.D., President Emeritus, Elizabethtown College

    Strikwerda served as president of Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, in historic Lancaster County, a residential college offering professional, arts and sciences, and graduate degrees. Currently, he serves on the Executive Committee of the Council for European Studies and the Board of Directors of the High Family Foundation. Previously, he has served on the Board of Directors of the Lancaster County Economic Development Company,  public radio and TV station WITF, and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, as well as on the President’s Trust of the American Association of Colleges and Universities. He previously served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the College of William and Mary and as an Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas. An historian, he has published widely on European and global history and served as an historical consultant to the National World War One Museum. 

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Heterodox events are public conversations among academics and experts on a focused topic that offer an opportunity to showcase our values in action, and provide timely discussion of pressing topics. We are currently hosting regular virtual events in addition to periodic live events. Nearly all events, virtual or live, will be recorded and posted on our YouTube channel following the event.


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