Madison College President Dr. Jack E. Daniels III has announced that Lucia Nuñez will be the new vice president for Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement for Madison College starting Jan. 4.

“This brings me back to community work of my Centro days and other positions that I’ve held over the years. I really value being able to work in the community,” Nuñez tells Madison365. Nuñez was the executive director of Centro Hispano in the ‘90s. “In addition, it lets me continue some of the equity work that we’ve been doing at the City and I will be able to do at Madison College … that’s really exciting.”

Lucia Nuñez
Lucia Nuñez

Nuñez is currently the director of the City of Madison Department of Civil Rights. “I’ve been here 10 years and I’ve gotten to see how really important the equal opportunity, fair employment, housing and affirmative action laws are that we inforce here,” Nuñez says. “I think what we do here is really valuable and I’m glad that Gloria is going to be continuing to do that work and making sure that these laws are enforced.”

Deputy Mayor Gloria Reyes will serve as interim director of the City of Madison Department of Civil Rights until the position is permanently filled. A national search will be undertaken for Nunez’s replacement.

Gloria Reyes
Gloria Reyes

Nuñez’s responsibilities as Madison College’s vice president for Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement will include providing leadership, innovation and vision for diversity and inclusion efforts. Nuñez will lead efforts to enhance engagements with Madison communities throughout Madison College’s 12-county district.

“My new position allows me to do what I consider to be more upstream work in thinking about how do we prepare students and make sure that they are fully integrated into the work of Madison College and the greater community,” Nuñez says.

A search committee chaired by Dr. Keith Cornille, vice president of Student Development and Success, reviewed applications and conducted initial interviews with candidates. The finalists met with members of the college community at forums in late October.

“I’d like to thank the search committee members, those that participated in the forums, and those that hosted tours and presentations for the finalists for their important work and contributions to this process,” says Madison College President Dr. Jack E. Daniels III. “We know there is a lot of important work that needs to be done related to inclusion and diversity on our campus and in identifying ways that Madison College can more effectively engage with our communities to influence positive and substantive change.”

Nuñez has 30 years of experience in working with diverse and underserved populations and has demonstrated an ability to bring diverse people together to seek creative solutions to a wide array of community challenges that uniquely equips her to assume this role.

Prior to her service with the City of Madison, Nuñez served as division administrator of the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division, deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and executive director of Centro Hispano of Dane County. She was also a teacher at the Community Adolescent Resource and Education Center in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras.

“It’s pretty exciting to be thinking about working with everybody at the college and figuring out what we can do to increase the diversity and what else that needs to happen in terms of equity for people to enjoy the resources that Madison College has,” Nuñez says.

Nuñez earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and Hispanic studies from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut, and earned a master’s degree in International Education from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Madison College will formally welcome Nuñez to the college community on January 12 at the Spring Semester Convocation.

“I really look forward to getting to know about all of the different work that Madison College has and does for the community as I transition into this role,” Nuñez says. “I will be looking to see how I can take that leadership role to promote diversity and inclusion and what steps we can take as we really tap into the Madison community that exists.”