November 29, 2007

University Creates Chief Diversity Officer Position

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Starting in July, the Vice Provost of Diversity and Faculty Development position will become Chief Diversity Officer. Current Vice Provost Robert Harris will retire and return to his faculty position in the Africana Center, and a search is being conducted to find someone to fill the new position.
Whereas the Vice Provost of Diversity dealt mainly with faculty, the new CDO will also work with staff and students in an attempt to “link together” the three main Cornell populations, according to David Harris, vice provost for social sciences.
The position is being changed, according to Harris, because the current “response [to diversity issues] is not as good as it can be.”
Harris said that some of the CDO’s responsibilities will be determined once the officer has been hired, but for the most part, the CDO will “coordinate diversity efforts across the University.”
The CDO will take the lead role on the Diversity Council, assist in diversity research and assess current diversity programs and coordinate new University-level programs.
The CDO position is becoming increasingly common in both the business world and at other colleges across the country, such as University of California Berkeley.