Campus-Wide DEI Leadership, Planning, and Support

Impact Area: Give DEI power, authority, and accountability

View the DEI Action Plan for 2020-2021

Initiate campus-wide as well as division-level diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership, planning, and support.

Action Item Details

For over twenty years, the University of Denver has created various levels of leadership to enact its vision around diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Despite significant advances and achievements over this time, these systems created parallel and sometimes unconnected DEI priorities, policies, practices, and procedures across the university. The goal of this action item is to create a coordinated, consistent, and connected leadership and accountability structure for diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of the university.    

  • Conduct a national search and successfully hire a Vice-Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to serve as the Chief Diversity Officer of the institution to be completed during the Fall of 2020. 
  • The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) will work with every division on campus during the fall of 2020 and winter of 2021 to create a framework for diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership, strategic planning, and accountability. This framework will train these leaders to operationalize DU’s unifying philosophy in building policies, practices, and expectations in relation to the internal and external work, mission, and vision of a unit. 
  • Beginning in Fall 2020, incubate and build division-level DEI leadership by expanding the ODEI Fellow Program to:
    • Support minoritized faculty or staff 
    • Infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion development into the core work of colleagues 
    • Work with leaders in the division to create and monitor unit-level DEI strategic planning and implementation 
    • Identify and implement best practices for search processes and subsequent retention 
    • Communicate DEI advocacy efforts within their unit and beyond 
  • The leadership will serve on a larger campus DEI steering committee


  • College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences - Inclusive Excellence Committee

    The College’s Inclusive Excellence Committee is developing, strengthening, and implementing a long-term cultural shift to uphold diversity and equity as central to institutional excellence.

    Learn More

  • Professor Lexi Freeman Named Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | September 2, 2020

    "After an open call to the Sturm College of Law faculty, consultation with the Faculty Executive Committee, and authorization by the University of Denver Provost’s Office, DU has appointed Professor Lexi Freeman to serve as Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Director of Social Justice Initiatives effective September 1, 2020. Among other priorities, Dean Freeman will lead efforts to further diversify Denver Law’s student body, faculty, and staff, to nurture a more inclusive community, and to leverage institutional resources to combat inequity, bias, and injustice."

    See the full announcement here


  • Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Announces Fellows Program | September 23, 2020

    Nominations due by EOD on Monday, October 12, 2020

    To: University of Denver Division Level Leadership

    Re: Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fellows Program Nomination 

    The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s (ODEI) Fellows Program will advance the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), creating and further embedding a capacity-building resource within and alongside academic & non-academic departments at the University of Denver. 

    The ODEI Fellows are meant to help your division advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts with support (both in terms of funding and training) and coordination from the University at large. As a unit-based role, your ODEI Fellow will work within the division toward realizing DU’s vision outlined within the 2020-2021 DEI Action Items and its goals to begin creating a coordinated, consistent, and connected leadership and accountability structure for diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of the university.       

    There are 10 openings for ODEI Fellows. Each position will begin during fall quarter 2020 and continue work until the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2021.

    Read the rest of the announcement here

  • ODEI Announces Cohort of Fellows for 2020-2021 | November 18, 2020

    The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion would like to announce and welcome our new ODEI Fellows. 

    • Heather Arnold-Renicker, Clinical Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Work 

    • Kari Burns, Graphic Designer, Marketing & Communications 

    • Rosalynn Feagins, Assistant Treasurer, Business & Financial Affairs 

    • Hava Gordon, Associate Professor of Sociology & Criminology, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences 

    • Jennifer Hoffman, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, College of Natural Science and Mathematics 

    • Anthony Holder, Associate Professor of Accounting, Daniels College of Business 

    • Nancy Jones, Accessions & Archival Processor, University Libraries 

    • Kannan Muralidharan, Assistant Director of Graduate Enrollment, Provost's Office 

    • Richard Rathburn, Executive Director of Employer Connections, Advancement 

    • Sarah Thorstenson, Associate Director & Transfer Coordinator, Admissions & Enrollment 

    Read the full announcement here

  • Announcing the VC for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    "It is with excitement — and with gratitude to the many groups and individuals involved in this important search — that I am pleased to announce that Dr. Christopher M. Whitt will join DU as our vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion (VC for DEI) beginning April 1, 2021."

    See the Full Announcement Here


  • ODEI has worked to establish and support DEI committees

    As of 3/30/21, ODEI has worked to establish and support DEI committees in the following units:

    • Information Technology
    • Career and Professional Development
    • Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System
    • College of Natural Science and Mathematics
    • Health and Counseling Center
    • Business and Financial Affairs
    • Marketing and Communications
    • University Advancement
    • Daniel’s College of Business
    • College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
    • Sturm College of Law


Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Office of the Chancellor

University Deans

Chancellor's Cabinet

DU Centers and Institutes