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New Vice Chancellor for Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence

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Rebecca Chopp

Letter  •

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to share the news that Dr. Liliana Rodriguez will become the University's first vice chancellor for Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence.

Lili is currently associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and community development at Swarthmore College, where she manages residential life, student activities, international education and support, religious and spiritual life, Greek life, and orientation.

Our campus community will have the opportunity to meet Dr. Rodriquez this Thursday, May 28, at 1:30 in Anderson Academic Commons, Special Events Room (Room 290). A brief presentation will be followed by a reception. Dr. Rodriguez will also attend the Chowing Down with Chancellor Chopp First Annual Student Lunch, which I am hosting on Driscoll Green this Thursday from 11:00-1:30 for all undergraduate and graduate students. I encourage students to come for a free lunch and to welcome Dr. Rodriguez to the DU community!

At Swarthmore, Lili implemented the college's diversity and inclusion plan; merged student activities and residential life into a larger, holistic Office of Student Engagement; and revamped the first-year orientation experience to focus on college values and shared responsibilities as community citizens.

Prior to Swarthmore, Lili was director of the multicultural Davis Center at Williams College, where she led a redesign of the department's vision, mission, offerings and staff structure. She has experience in diversity recruitment and in psychotherapy, including crisis, drug abuse, and forensic mental health counseling. She has taught courses on the cycle of socialization; psychology law and social justice; and more.

Through my many conversations with students, faculty and staff this year—as well as through the Imagine DU process—I have heard loud and clear your call for a stronger sense of a diverse and inclusive community at DU. I am confident that Dr. Rodriguez will help us to build our community and to make sure our students—undergraduate, graduate and professional—will have the support they need to thrive at DU.

Our national search process yielded many stellar candidates. The search committee brought three finalists to campus to meet with a diverse array of students, faculty and staff. Those who met with her remarked on her energy and vision, her likeability and ability to relate to people and her commitment to all students, including first-generation and underrepresented students.
Dr. Rodriguez shares DU's passion for ensuring that higher education remains accessible to all students, regardless of financial circumstances. Dr. Rodriguez matches the emerging vision from our strategic planning efforts that in order for students to be successful in the 21st century, they need to develop intercultural competence and the ability to understand, engage and appreciate others' perspectives and experiences.

As the first vice chancellor for Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence, Dr. Rodriguez will lead DU's efforts to redesign the student experience for undergraduates, graduates and professional students in light of the needs and opportunities of the 21st century. Dr. Rodriguez will lead DU's efforts to support students as they master the navigational skills to thrive at DU and beyond. Further, she will report directly to me as chancellor, sitting on my senior staff and ensuring that the undergraduate, graduate and professional student experience inside and outside the classroom remains central to all University decision-making.

Lili will be joining our DU team July 1. This will give her an opportunity to get to know DU before she takes parental leave, in August and September, for the birth of her second child. Lili will participate in activities during orientation and will resume full-time work on October 1.

Vice Chancellor Tom Willoughby chaired the search committee, whose work was supported by Shelly Storbeck of the search firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates. For recruiting a diverse and remarkable candidate pool, I thank the entire search committee:

  • Tom Willoughby, vice chancellor for Enrollment, chair
  • Nancy Allen, dean and director, University Libraries
  • Navin Dimond, trustee
  • Carol Johnson, associate professor and chair, Marketing, Daniels College of Business
  • Jennifer Karas, associate provost for undergraduate academic programs
  • Lisa Martinez, associate professor and chair, Sociology & Criminology, Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Keith Miller, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Division of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
  • Aish Narang, sophomore, Daniels College of Business senator, Undergraduate Student Government
  • Leslie Rossman, doctoral candidate, president, Graduate Student Government
  • Cappy Shopneck, trustee
  • Derigan Silver, associate professor, Media, Film & Journalism Studies, Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Billy Stratton, assistant professor of English, Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
  • James Herbert Williams, dean, Graduate School of Social Work

I hope you will join me in welcoming Dr. Rodriguez to our community. She will help to push DU to greater heights.

Rebecca Chopp, Chancellor