Update on the Office of Institutional Diversity

On August 19, I announced that I had selected Rénard Harris to be the College’s interim associate vice president and chief diversity officer. As many of you may know, Rénard joined the College in 2005 as a member of our faculty in the Department of Teacher Education, where he teaches social studies and middle school organization and curriculum. He has served on numerous university committees, including the Diversity Climate Survey Committee, the Advisory Committee to the African American Studies Program, and the Student Affairs and Athletes Committee. He also has served as a SPECTRA mentor and is a coordinator for the Call Me MISTER Program.

Rénard will serve as interim for the entire academic year to allow for steady and continuous leadership.

Since that announcement, I also have named Kendall Deas as the director of diversity training and grant initiatives. In this role, Kendall will facilitate diversity training for faculty and staff and partner with academic departments and divisions to secure grants for the College related to diversity initiatives and programs. Kendall is an adjunct faculty member, a Faculty Fellow in the Honors College, a member of the Faculty Senate, a two-time ExCEL Awards winner and a 2016-17 New Leadership Academy Fellow with the National Center for Institutional Diversity.

Both Rénard and Kendall have hit the ground running. I’m impressed with the energy, excitement and ideas they have brought to their respective roles and to the Office of Institutional Diversity.

Please join me in congratulating Rénard and Kendall on their assignments. I know they can count on your assistance and support in the coming year.

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