University of Rochester

Vivian Lewis Selected to Lead University of Rochester's Faculty Development and Diversity Initiatives

May 11, 2010

Vivian Lewis, M.D. has been named deputy to the president and vice provost for faculty development and diversity at the University of Rochester, effective July 1. Her appointment is the result of a national search conducted by a University faculty selection committee. Since October, she has served on an interim basis in this post, succeeding Lynne Davidson.

Lewis will assist deans and department chairs in identifying, recruiting, and retaining faculty that increase the diversity of the University's schools and departments and will help advance the University's diversity efforts through a variety of programming initiatives. Such initiatives will include creating programs to support faculty mentoring needs and helping ensure that the professional climate promotes success.

"Over the last eight months Vivian has been outstanding in leading our faculty diversity office and in implementing the recommendations of the recent Faculty Listening Tour report," said President Joel Seligman. "She has always impressed me with her commitment to a vision of the University that combines academic excellence and diversity. I am delighted that she'll be joining the leadership team on a permanent basis."

Lewis is currently the associate dean for faculty development for women and diversity at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, where she also has been a professor of obstetrics and gynecology since 1991.

"Vivian's substantial experience in faculty mentoring and development and her research on gender, racial, and ethnic diversity in the professions position her to make an even broader impact for the University as a whole," Provost Ralph Kuncl said.

During her time as acting vice provost for faculty development and diversity, Lewis drew on her experience as a member of the University Faculty Diversity Officers Committee to spearhead several initiatives, including the first-ever University-wide diversity conference: Building a Stronger Community. She also chaired the awards committee for the first University of Rochester Presidential Diversity Awards. Created in 2009 by President Seligman, the awards honor members of the University community who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion through programming or other efforts.

"Vivian understands the complex elements and challenges of attracting and retaining a diverse faculty and she has the ability to offer strategies for addressing those challenges," said Paul Burgett, University Vice President and chair of the search committee appointed by President Seligman in March.

"Let me express special gratitude to Paul Burgett and the members of this extraordinary selection committee for conducting an impressive national search over the last several months," said Seligman. "Their professionalism and hard work have led to an outstanding selection."

Committee members included Paul Burgett, Office of the President; Nancy Ares, Warner School of Education; Mary Dombeck, School of Nursing; Harry Groenevelt, Simon School of Business; Dan Horsky, Simon School of Business; Ellen Koskoff, Eastman School of Music; Honey Meconi, the College; and Jeffrey Tucker, Frederick Douglass Institute. The search process attracted more than 40 applications from across the country.

Lewis earned her bachelor's degree from Harvard College, received her medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and completed her residency at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is the member of several professional societies. Her research has concentrated on reproductive endocrinology, infertility, menopause, and hormone therapy. Lewis also was a two-term member of the advisory committee on reproductive health drugs for the Food and Drug Administration.

"Vivian is a deeply thoughtful person whose quiet strength is readily apparent in her eager engagement in the sometimes intense dialogues inherent in discussions about diversity," Burgett said.