Update on DU Diversity Leadership
We write to share important news regarding our diversity leadership at DU. After seven years serving as the senior advisor to the chancellor and provost on diversity and inclusivity—and after many years leading DU’s diversity efforts as a renowned scholar and educator—Frank Tuitt has announced he will take a sabattical at the end of this academic year. After that, he will consider new professional opportunities while focusing on his scholarly work full time. In the coming months, we look forward to celebrating Frank’s incredible accomplishments.
In light of the opportunities offered by this transition, Frank has recommended the elevation of the role he has held to the vice-chancellor/vice-provost level with the title of senior diversity officer (SDO). This expanded role will build upon the work Frank has led for several years and increase and strengthen DU’s infrastructure supporting diversity, equity and inclusive excellence.
Before launching the search for the next Senior Diversity Officer, we need to quickly and carefully define the responsibilities and goals of this position. To ensure we are making the best choices for what DU needs at this time, we have contracted with Dr. Damon Williams, leader of the Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership & Change. Dr. Williams, author of Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation in Higher Education, is a leading expert in the field of strategic transformation aimed at building inclusive institutions. Additionally, Dr. Williams was a keynote speaker at a DU Diversity Summit. You can learn out more about Dr. Williams at his website.
Dr. Williams and his associate, Dr. Sallye McKee, will start their work immediately and will consult with various campus groups to inform their work. We will focus our efforts and resources on this collaboration so that we can begin a search by the end of February, if not before.
In the meantime, Frank and Provost Jeremy Haefner are the on-campus contacts for the consultation led by Dr. Williams. Frank and Jeremy will also work closely with Lili Rodriguez, vice chancellor for campus life and inclusive excellence, and Laura Maresca, vice chancellor for human resources and inclusive community. While Frank, Jeremy, Lili and Laura will help orchestrate the consultation, the University needs the ideas and aspirations from you and the rest of the DU community. Please help us build on Frank’s considerable work and create new opportunities for diversity, equity and inclusivity.
Through this work, together, we will enrich our community and expand our engagement in Denver and the world.
Rebecca Chopp, Chancellor
Jeremy Haefner, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor