Barbara Lofton, assistant dean for the Dr. Barbara A. Lofton Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, is most known for advancing diversity and inclusion in the Walton College on many fronts for minority students, faculty and staff. Now she is casting a wider net by assisting with the development of a national organization and joining the board of the Business School Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Collaborative to extend her influence.
Lofton will serve as the conference co-ambassador for the Business School DEI Collaborative board which plans to “advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in higher education by aiding in professional development, impacting curriculum and contributing to research and service in the DEI space” at business schools throughout the country.
Lofton is no stranger to advancing diversity and inclusion at the University of Arkansas and other schools throughout the Southeastern Conference. She has served as the director of the diversity office at Walton College since 1996. The office was formed in 1994 making it the oldest diversity office at a business school in the SEC. As such, Lofton has traveled to other SEC business schools to encourage, train and advise other business colleges on how to implement diversity and inclusion strategies on campus.
“With her extensive experience in supporting diversity and inclusion at Walton College, Dr. Lofton is an excellent addition to the board,” said Matt Waller, dean of the Walton College. “She brings expertise, talent and, most of all, passion to level the playing field at school and beyond.”
“I hope that other higher education entities will make this bold step to make diversity and inclusion a major part of their organizations and accrediting body,” Lofton said. “Some organizations and accrediting bodies have diversity and inclusion as a part of their structure but embedding such requirements will bring about better outcomes in our higher education institutions as a proactive step in this space.”
The Business School DEI Collaborative’s mission is to “advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in higher education through hosting conferences to discuss best practices and programs, granting awards, and serving as a resource for educators and businesspeople who are interested in increasing the opportunities for historically underrepresented groups.”
Learn more about the collaborative by visiting www.busdeic.org.