Gillespie Serving on Martin Luther King Jr. State Celebration Commission


Photo of Dr. Mel Gillespie

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 9, 2004 — Dr. Mel Gillespie, assistant to the president for equity issues at Southeast Missouri State University, has been appointed by Missouri Gov. Bob Holden to serve on the Martin Luther King Jr. State Celebration Commission.

The Commission considers and recommends to individuals and organizations appropriate activities for the recognition and celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Missouri. He replaces Bernice Coar-Cobb, who resigned.

Gillespie came to Southeast last July from Blacksburg, Va., where he was serving as director of the Office of Equal Opportunity at Virginia Tech University. He has more than 25 years experience in organizational diversity/equity theory and programming, affirmative action and equal employment opportunity work, organizational development, change management, minority/women business contracting, human resource management and staff development.

At Southeast, Gillespie serves on the executive staff and is responsible for providing pro-active, campus-wide leadership, direction and coordination in the areas of diversity and equity issues. He supervises and develops approaches designed to enhance the University community’s appreciation for cultural diversity, its climate of tolerance, respect for the rights of all persons, and its adherence to affirmative action and equal opportunity. He also works to maintain effective and equitable processes for resolution of workplace issues, recommending policies and procedures related to equity and affirmative action and managing the Affirmative Action Program. Gillespie works with members of the President’s Advisory Council for Minority Affairs, coordinates programs to assist the University in cultivating and retaining minority faculty, staff and students; and builds, maintains and reports work force analyses.

Gillespie has experience in a broad range of equity and diversity areas, including employee and human relations, conflict resolution, policy development, diversity programming, equal opportunity, affirmative action practice and administration, and is a certified mediator. Gillespie also is a retired Air Force officer with a broad background of experience including having served as the director of social action and instructor at the Air Force Academy and instructor of minority studies at the Department of Defense Race Relations Institute.

Gillespie received his bachelor’s degree in education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, his master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma and his doctoral degree in educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and the American Association for Affirmative Action.