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Candidates for new vice president and chief diversity officer role come to CMU

VP/chief diversity officer candidate interviews scheduled

Students, faculty and staff invited to meet candidates March 19-20 and 28-29

Contact: Ari Harris


​Students, faculty and staff are invited to meet four candidates for the university's new vice president and chief diversity officer.

The candidates, selected by a search committee led by Title IX coordinator Katherine Lasher, will each attend an open forum and special student forum in the evening during their campus visit.

In November 2017, the university launched a national search to fill the new role. This new administrative position will lead campuswide efforts to define, create and promote diversity, inclusion and cultural competency. Reporting to the university president, this individual will be responsible for developing and implementing a strategic plan to further diversity across campus and leading efforts to create a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. The role provides strategic leadership and management in policy development for the operation of programs, training and engagement to achieve institutional diversity and cultural competency goals.

During upcoming campus visits, members of the campus community are invited to attend open forums from 2 to 3 p.m. or 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Bovee University Center Auditorium. In the evenings, students are invited to engage with candidates over pizza from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Bovee UC lobby.

Those who are unable to attend may view the 2 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. open forums online via livestream. A CMU global ID and password will be required to access the event.

Monday, March 19
Carmen Suarez

Suarez is vice president of global diversity and inclusion at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Her previous roles include chief diversity officer and assistant vice provost for student affairs at the University of Idaho; director of human rights, access and inclusion at the University of Idaho; and director of the office of diversity and equality at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She received a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she also received a master's degree in medieval history and a bachelor's degree in history.

Tuesday, March 20
Brian Corpening

Corpening is assistant provost for diversity and community partnerships at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. His previous roles include dean of student development at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley in Missouri and chief of staff to the president of Bunker Hill Community College in Boston. Prior to those positions, he served as director of the multicultural center at Illinois State University. Corpening holds a doctorate in educational studies from the University of Oklahoma, a master's degree in management sciences with specialization in human resource management from Binghamton University in New York, and a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Central Florida.

Wednesday, March 28
A.T. Miller

Miller is associate vice provost of academic diversity at Cornell University. His previous experience includes several roles at the University of Michigan, including faculty director of the Center for Global and Intercultural Study and chair of the Council on Global Engagement, director of global intercultural experience for undergraduates, and coordinator of multicultural teaching and learning. He holds a doctorate in American civilization with an emphasis on African and African-American cultural studies and social science history and a master's degree in American civilization, both from the University of Pennsylvania. He received a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Davidson College.

Thursday, March 29
Cecil Howard

Howard is interim associate vice president, chief diversity officer and Title IX coordinator for the University of South Florida system. He also is the chief diversity officer at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and an adjunct instructor at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida. His previous roles include executive director of social equity and Title IX coordinator at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, and chief diversity officer for the city of Gainesville, Florida. He holds a juris doctorate from Texas Southern University and a bachelor's degree in government from Florida State University.


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