Dr. Frank Ashley, Executive Associate Dean at the Bush School of Government & Public Service, discusses his time at the Bush School and what Black History Month means to him.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
I have been involved in diversity initiatives my whole life, my whole career. Black History Month gives us a chance to reflect on other people. Instead of looking inward, we get to look at the accomplishments of other people.
I’m a firm believer the more you know about other people the better off you are.
What do you wish Bush School Students know about Black History Month?
When we look through the lense of diversity, it changes your perspective on a lot of things. The more we know about each other, the more we appreciate each other.
Specific months like Black History Month help us celebrate the accomplishments of individuals that help make America the great country that we are. It also forces us to recognize our dark times and helps us remember we never want that to happen again.
What have you seen regarding diversity initiatives here at the Bush School or A&M?
As Director of Admissions for Texas A&M I looked at how we can be more diverse, how we can look more like the state of Texas. As a state university, the student body, faculty, and staff should reflect the state of Texas.
It’s important here at the Bush school because graduates will be public servants. As I tell students in my class, they may not be in a diverse organization, however when they look at the people, they are serving they will be of a diverse background.
How have you seen the response to diversity initiatives change at Texas A&M?
It is cyclical. It gets better and then gets worse, gets better and then worse again. I don’t know where we are right now. The more we know about history, the less likely we are to repeat the same mistakes.
In 50 years, what do you hope the Bush School or Texas A&M will look like?
Like President George H.W. Bush’s quote,
I believe our students will embody this. Public servants who are in it for the right reasons.