Search for Chief Diversity Officer reaches final four candidates

Rachel Dvareckas, Managing Editor

The search for the university’s new Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer (VPEI-CDO) has been narrowed down to four potential candidates for the position.

RWU has been without a VPEI-CDO since the departure of Dr. Ame Lambert in August of last year. Lambert held this position for more than three years and during her time at the university, she worked to implement the first Equity Action Plan in February of 2020 to improve equity and inclusion on campus.

The search committee, consisting of administrators, faculty and students, has been working with national search firm Spelman Johnson for months to fill the position. Student committee member Sophie Speliopoulos has really enjoyed working on the committee.

“Being on the CDO search committee has been a really great experience. It has been wonderful to bring a student perspective to the committee and to get to build relationships with the other committee members,” Speliopoulos said.

Last week, the committee finished interviewing seven potential candidates. Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Committee Co-Chair Margaret Everett said the committee has narrowed down the list of potential candidates to four individuals. These individuals will be virtually attending campus visits over the next two weeks, according to an email sent by Everett to faculty and staff on March 21.

The candidates will participate in open forums for faculty and staff to ask questions and share their thoughts. Students will be able to attend a Zoom webinar with the first candidate on March 25 from 3:45-4:30 p.m. and then complete a survey on their thoughts about the individual.

“We’re bringing four finalist candidates forward to “visit” campus (virtually) at the end of this week and beginning of next week. I can’t say much due to confidentiality but I’m confident that all four of them are qualified for the position and would be welcomed members of the RWU community,” Speliopoulos said.