University of Vermont

Former President Daniel Mark Fogel

Appointment of Chief Diversity Officer

September 2 , 2010

To: Campus Community
From: Daniel Mark Fogel, President

Re: Appointment of Chief Diversity Officer

The departure of Kathryn Friedman has provided an opportunity to reorganize and strengthen our efforts to build a diverse community sustained by an inclusive, supportive, and just campus climate. To that end, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant as UVM’s first chief diversity officer—her formal title, effective immediately, is Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) and Special Assistant to the President for Multicultural Initiatives. As CDO, Dr. Heading-Grant will report directly to the President and will serve as a member of the President’s Senior Leadership team.

Dr. Heading-Grant will retain her current responsibilities. She will continue to lead multicultural academic initiatives and faculty and staff development programs (e.g., her liaison role with the Diversity Curriculum Review Committee of the Faculty Senate and leadership of such programs as the Faculty Resource Network and Blackboard Jungle). She will still oversee the Center for Cultural Pluralism and the Abenaki Outreach Program. And she will continue to provide leadership and coordination of a broad range of campus programming and community partnerships (e.g., our MLK Day activities and the President’s Diversity Initiative collaboration with the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts).

But, in addition, through this efficient reorganization Dr. Heading-Grant will provide integrated leadership and administrative oversight for a much larger and very consequential portfolio of diversity initiatives and agencies. In her expanded role, Dr. Heading-Grant will have as direct reports the directors of the ALANA Student Center, the Women’s Center, and LGBTQ Services. She will support the work of the University's Presidential Commissions. She will provide advice and counsel on institutional matters relating to diversity, including campus climate and the recruitment, retention and development of a diverse community of faculty, staff, and students. And, importantly, she will provide administrative oversight for the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.

Dr. Heading-Grant has worked at the University of Vermont for almost twenty years and has been serving as the Associate Provost for Multicultural Affairs and Academic Initiatives since October 2006. Before assuming her current position, she served for three-years as Associate Dean in the College of Education and Social Services, following ten years as Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity. Dr. Heading-Grant earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont, her master’s from Adelphi University, and her doctorate here at UVM. She holds an appointment in the Department of Social Work and is a member of the Graduate Faculty of the University. We are fortunate to have such a highly regarded and committed member of the University community in place to take on the expanded and fortified role of Chief Diversity Officer.

In November of 2004 the University Board of Trustees adopted (and more recently, in February of 2009, revised and reaffirmed) its commitment to a statement titled “Why Diversity is an Academic and Institutional Strategic Priority for the University of Vermont.” The Board affirmed that a diverse “UVM community is a compelling institutional interest that is indispensable to achieving our goal of academic excellence.” The reorganization and integration I have described, along with the designation of a CDO reporting directly to the President as a member of the President’s cabinet, will further advance UVM’s vision, mission, and strategic plan. Please join me in applauding Dr. Heading-Grant as she assumes her expanded role and in continuing to support our efforts to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive community at UVM. We also hope you will be able to join us at the Fleming Museum at 5:00 p.m. on September 14 for the reception celebrating and recognizing Kathryn Friedman’s exceptional contributions to weaving the fabric of diversity at UVM.

Last modified September 05 2010 07:21 AM

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