Madison College has named Dr. Damira Grady vice president of equity and inclusion, the school announced in a Facebook post Monday.
Grady currently serves as Associate Vice-Chancellor of Academic Support for Inclusive Excellence and is the University Diversity Officer at UW – Oshkosh. She has previously held similar positions at Milwaukee Area Technical College and Gateway Community College.
In an interview Monday evening, she said working at UW-Oshkosh “was one of the best professional experiences I’ve ever had,” but she’s excited to return to the community college space.
“I am really passionate about two-year opportunities, and normalizing a two-year pathway for students, especially low income, first generation, students who are undecided,” she said. “I like the community type focus of a technical college, especially Madison College. I will say that every technical college has that type of community focus. But the focus of Madison College has really appealed to me.”
In 2016, Madison College president Dr. Jack E. Daniels III announced that the downtown campus would close and a new one would be built on the south side of Madison, in order to make the college more accessible to a diverse population. The Goodman South Campus opened in 2019.
“It’s a commitment, but a commitment through action. I think in this work, that’s where a lot of people struggle. I often see institutions align themselves to a new initiative. Putting money behind hiring a diversity officer or hiring support staff, or making aspirational statements around diversity or having all your staff go through training. But all of those things go by the wayside if there really isn’t accountability that community and stakeholders see. Even if we’re making baby steps, or sometimes failing, we’re still striving to show through action and resources that we’re committed. And that is a large part of my pull for working with Dr. Daniels.”
Grady replaces Lucia Nuñez, who held the position since 2015.
Grady said she will be based at the Truax Campus on Madison’s east side, but will “float” among all seven locations, including the Goodman South campus.