Skip to main content

Search underway for new chief diversity officer

March 9, 2021 By Käri Knutson

A search-and-screen committee has been appointed to help identify and select candidates for the next deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, vice provost and chief diversity officer.

The committee is being chaired by Jerlando Jackson, professor and department chair in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in the School of Education.

Other committee members include: Ruben Anthony, president and CEO, Urban League of Greater Madison; Trish Devine, professor in the Psychology Department, College of Letters & Science; Helen Faith, Office of Student Financial Aid, Enrollment Management; Gabe Javier, associate vice chancellor for student affairs in the areas of identity and inclusion; Sheri Johnson, associate professor in Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health; José J. Madera, assistant dean in Student Academic Affairs, College of Letters & Science; Mari Magler, assistant dean and director, McBurney Disability Resource Center, Student Affairs; Maggie Riordan, student representative; Micah Roberts, Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health; Eric Sandgren, professor in Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine; Thomas Valtin-Erwin, program administrator, Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives; Chelsea Wells, student representative; and Paul Wilson, professor and department chair, Engineering Physics, College of Engineering.

The deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, vice provost and chief diversity officer provides overall leadership for UW–Madison’s efforts to create a diverse, inclusive and excellent learning and work environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others who partner with the university. The incumbent is responsible for coordinating numerous institutional initiatives, while supervising the key diversity units that comprise the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement, a unit with approximately 80 FTE employees and an annual budget of $10 million.

One of the primary responsibilities of the position is to facilitate progress toward the university’s strategic diversity priorities, which include:

  • Recruiting and retaining a more diverse faculty, staff and student community.
  • Preparing members of our campus community to thrive personally and professionally in a world that is diverse, global and interconnected.
  • Eliminating the achievement gap between majority and underrepresented students.
  • Increasing access, retention and achievement for underrepresented minorities and women in the STEM areas.
  • Enhancing the campus climate for inclusion.

The Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement forms partnerships across campus, including with shared governance bodies, to advance these priorities.

Given the collaborative decision-making approach at UW–Madison, the individual who holds this position will have a dual-reporting relationship to the chancellor and the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs, and will serve as a member of both the chancellor’s and the provost’s executive teams. The dual reporting relationship emphasizes both the important role this individual plays in shaping the overall institutional strategy around diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, as well as a primary responsibility for leadership on diversity, equity and inclusion activities as they directly connect with the academic mission of the university.

Two public listening sessions with the chair and search firm will be held via Zoom from 11 a.m. to noon March 17 and 6 to 7 p.m. March 18. The sessions will give people the opportunity to provide input and learn more about the role. If you need accommodations, please contact Carole Kolb at

Cheryl Gittens has served as interim leader of the university’s diversity and inclusion efforts since Patrick Sims left the position to become the executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

The deadline for applicants and nominations is April 9.

For more information or to apply for the position, visit