Cheryl Gittens, an assistant vice provost in UW-Madison’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement, has been named interim leader of UW’s diversity and inclusion efforts, the university announced on Thursday.
“This is a crucial role on our campus at a time when continued progress on equity and inclusion is not only expected but essential,” says Chancellor Rebecca Blank in a statement. “We are very fortunate to have someone with Dr. Gittens’ experience and skill to lead this effort. She brings deep knowledge of the issues and is highly respected by our students, faculty and staff.”
In the interim position, Gittens will provide overall leadership for the university’s efforts to create a diverse, inclusive, and successful work and learning environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others who partner with the university, according to a press release, and she will work with schools, colleges, and other administrative units across campus on diversity and inclusion initiatives while supervising the key diversity units that comprise the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA).
“We’re seeing our faculty, staff and students engage vigorously on these issues and commit to meaningful action,” says Provost Karl Scholz in a press release. “Under Dr. Gittens’ direction, DDEEA will play a critical role in providing guidance and resources to the campus community. I look forward to working with her and am confident she will provide terrific leadership.”
Gittens will succeed Patrick Sims, who is leaving to become the executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
“It is an honor to serve as UW-Madison’s interim chief diversity officer,” Gittens says in a statement. “Over the past three years, I’ve had the opportunity to lead, partner, and collaborate with outstanding university students, faculty, staff, and community members to engage diversity, promote student access and success, and reinforce our relations with the community. In this vital role, my goal is to continue to push the momentum forward and strengthen our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity. I am excited to work with our leadership and community during this critical period.”
Gittens will assume the role of interim deputy vice-chancellor and chief diversity officer on July 11