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National search launched for University’s first vice president for equity and inclusion

November 6, 2018
students walking around campus on a sunny fall day(University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

The University of Rochester has launched a national search for its first vice president for equity and inclusion. The vice president will be the University’s chief diversity officer and will establish and lead the new Office of Equity and Inclusion. An interim associate vice president for equal opportunity and an interim associate vice president for diversity and inclusion have been appointed effective immediately to help structure the new office.

This past spring, the University received guidance from national consultant DeEtta Jones & Associates on how to best establish a new University-wide equity, diversity, and inclusion office. Jones also provided advice about a position description for a person to lead that office.

The new vice president will report to the University president and work closely with deans and other senior leaders and campus constituencies to create, implement and lead a University-wide diversity strategic plan that includes recruitment, training, communication, policy, and metrics. Working with campus diversity leaders, this position will help integrate this strategy with federally mandated anti-discrimination compliance. The vice president will also identify and pursue opportunities to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment, including promoting the University’s new Vision and Values Statement.

University President Richard Feldman will lead the search committee, which includes faculty, staff and students from across the University who were peer-nominated for their familiarity with the University’s initiatives in diversity and inclusion. 

Visit the search committee website >>

The search will be assisted by Diversified Search, one of the nation’s top executive recruitment firms specializing in this area. It is anticipated that the final candidate will be selected this spring to begin in the role this summer, and the new University president, once named, will participate in interviewing the finalists.

Crummins and Kearney named interim associate vice presidents

One of the recommendations from DeEtta Jones was that the new Office of Equity and Inclusion include two dedicated units, which President Feldman has put into place on a preliminary basis before the arrival of the new vice president.

Richard Crummins, deputy general counsel, and Maggie Kearney, vice provost and dean of graduate studies.

The first unit is focused on equity compliance and legal issues, and ensuring that these matters are all coordinated under the direction of one leader. Richard Crummins, deputy general counsel, will serve as interim associate vice president for equal opportunity. As part of the appointment, Crummins will report directly to President Feldman and be responsible for helping align institutional compliance functions that ensure that the University is using best practices concerning affirmative action, ADA compliance, and the prevention and investigation of sexual misconduct, harassment and discrimination at the University.

The other unit will be focused on recruitment, retention, support and climate for faculty, staff and students. Serving as its interim leader will be Maggie Kearney, vice provost and dean of graduate studies. She will serve as the associate vice president for diversity and inclusion and will lead University-wide initiatives in training, reporting, programming and conferences, and accountability. In this capacity, Kearney will also report to President Feldman.

For Crummins and Kearney, these new appointments are in addition to their current professional roles. Both of these interim positions are designed to provide insights to the University through the experience gained working in this organizational model, as well as benefit the incoming vice president who can then determine how to best continue or reorganize this structure moving forward.

The new Office of Equity and Inclusion will serve as a home for ongoing initiatives to strengthen the University’s Culture of Respect. Read more about these efforts at

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