NACA® National Convention - Diversity Keynote - Erik S. Farley

Erik S. Farley

Dean of Student Leadership and Community Engagement
Denison University (Granville, OH)

Erik S. Farley

As Dean of Student Leadership and Community Engagement, Erik Farley is responsible for leading students, staff and faculty in efforts to imagine, build and sustain a strong, healthy and dynamic community on Denison’s campus. He provides supervision and support to key offices (Alford Community Leadership and Involvement Center, Center for Women and Gender Action, Residential Communities and Student Housing Operations and Planning) that cultivate Denison’s legacy attributes of leadership, civic engagement and appreciation of diversity among our students. He contributes to and guides strategic and operational decision-making as a member of Student Development’s leadership team. Prior to this role, Farley served for 9 years as Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement at Denison. 

Farley is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His commitment to students is informed by the mentorship he received from countless teachers and community leaders–people who demanded that he produce his best work. Farley’s dedication stems from the assumption that all students have the potential to effect positive change within their sphere of influence. 

In his free time, Dean Farley enjoys gardening, running and spending time with his family.

Professional Education Session

  Monday, February 18 – 2:20-3:20 pm

Building Capacity for Understanding and Mitigating Unconscious/Implicit Bias
Presented with Dr. Thomas Witherspoon, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Multi-Cultural Student Affairs, Denison University

As our society becomes more globally connected, fostering the ability for individuals to interact intelligently across difference has become invaluable to the growth of organizations. This increased interaction forces organizations to take a look at structures and interpersonal dynamics as they are developing teams. This session will help attendees become more aware of implicit bias and its effects. As a community, we will explore strategies to mitigate bias in both professional and social settings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define unconscious bias
  • Identify the impact of unconscious bias in the workplace
  • Identify and use strategies for disrupting or reducing unconscious bias

Diversity Keynote

  Tuesday, February 19 – 12:45-1:30 pm
   Union Station AB

Building Capacity for Inclusive Student Leadership

Colleges and universities across the U.S. are experiencing major demographic shifts that are directly impacted by national trends and drivers. Existing diversity attracts more diversity, while existing homogeneity is itself a barrier to diversification. Contemporary college students must experience the dynamics of inclusion both in and out of the classroom. Every student has a voice and it should be our intention as educators to lift each one. It is within this context that we promote a brave space for the exchange of teaching and learning through forthright narrative sharing and transformational leadership opportunities. This session will help attendees better promote the merits of inclusive student leadership and its effects.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how relevant United States demographic points impact national trends and drivers regarding college students;
  • Define inclusive leadership;
  • Identify strategies for enhancing leadership training and development on college campuses.


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