Dr. Frank Ashley teaches students about diversity in nonprofit organizations and how diversity not only includes racial and sexual differences it also includes differences in ability, sexual orientation, religion, culture, immigration status and other areas. Ashley is the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Senior Professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service.
Ashley said he enjoys being a devil’s advocate in his courses because he wants to ensure that his students will leave the class knowing how to defend their various positions they may take on a subject. He tackles tough issues like culture, race, and religion and enjoys challenging his students’ points of view. Dean Ashley frequently expresses he has hope for the future of the state, country and world because of Bush School students’ desire to enter public service and to make a difference. “When I go home every day, I know our world is going to be okay,” Ashley said. He also said, “The thing that gets me excited about this place is the passion that I see in every student that I interact with for serving others”.
His favorite part of teaching is interacting with students, and he feels he is called to be at the Bush School. Ashley believes every student would benefit from enrolling in a class in diversity and stressed the importance of diversity in the current political climate in America. Leaders of organizations need to understand the role that diversity and inclusion plans in allowing each member to feel they are accepted and a contributing member.
Before coming to the Bush School, Ashley previously worked at the College Board in New York, where he was Senior Vice President of Membership and Higher Education Engagement, and for seven years at the Texas A&M University System as Vice Chancellor. Along with teaching the Managing Diversity course, as Senior Associate Dean, Ashley oversees graduate education and research activities. Other responsibilities include strategic planning, faculty affairs, student affairs, program development, diversity, assessment, communications and external relations, student services, and extended education programs in the Bush School.
The Bush School would like its strategic growth to result in a more diverse population and Ashley’s team is tasked with drawing a diverse population to the Bush School. Ashley is currently researching issues facing University Chief Diversity Officers and their concerns over the next five to ten years. His previous research analyzed concerns minority faculty members have at universities with low percentages of minority staff members.