Note: This letter originally appeared as an email sent to Office of Student Affairs employees on July 30, 2021.
We have several items to update you on related to our diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
We are thrilled to share that Dr. Charles Lu has accepted our offer to serve as the next Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion. Charles comes to us from the University of California, San Diego where he has served as the Director of the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services for the last four years. In that role, he led and co-created a cohesive strategic vision and assessment framework which included program goals to increase sense of belonging, academic disposition, and student success. Additionally, he partnered with executive and senior-level university leaders to launch four student success initiatives for first-generation and BIPOC undergraduate and graduate students. Prior to that, Charles served as the Executive Director of the Gateway Scholars Program at the University of Texas at Austin. In his role as Associate Dean, Charles will design and implement cohesive initiatives across the Diversity and Inclusion Centers that support the academic, social and personal success of underrepresented and marginalized students. These efforts will be undertaken in close partnership with students and colleagues across all nine schools University-wide, with a thoughtful eye toward assessment and metrics. Charles will join us on August 16.
We are also happy to announce that Demere Woolway has accepted the position of Executive Director for Inclusive Excellence Education and Development within JHU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Demere served as the inaugural Director of LGBTQ Life since 2013. Under their leadership, over 3000 people on the Homewood campus have been Safe Zone trained. Demere helped to add Gender Inclusive Housing as an option for residential students, worked to identify and designate all-gender restrooms across campus, has been influential in shifting to a culture of pronoun recognition, and facilitated numerous identity-based programs with student organizations, faculty and staff. Demere has severed as a mentor, connector, resource, and guide to students. In the new role, Demere will design the infrastructure for the delivery of evidence-based, high-quality, and comprehensive education and professional development experiences for all university faculty, staff, and students. They will set the strategic vision for institution-wide efforts to raise awareness, knowledge, and skills that contribute to engagement in behaviors, attitudes, policies, and structures that ensure enduring structural change. Demere will transition to this new role on September 17.
Finally, in an effort to build on and enhance the success of our student diversity efforts, to elevate the student diversity support structure across the university, and to support the renewed strategic direction of the Roadmap, the Centers of Diversity and Inclusion, under the leadership of Charles Lu, (OMA, Religious and Spiritual Life, Women and Gender Resources, and LGBTQ Life) will be shifting their operations and reporting to Dr. Katrina Caldwell in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Diversity and Inclusion continues to be an institutional priority, and we believe this new organizational structure allows us to leverage the talents and expertise of the staff more broadly. This move institutionalizes Diversity and Inclusion in the same ways as Student Health and Well-Being and Integrated Learning and Life Design and will be effective as of August 16.
While we reorganize to best serve our students and community at large, we know that shifts like these force us to think differently about our work. We expect the strong relationships that have been built between Student Affairs and the Diversity and Inclusion Centers will remain, and that new relationships will be established as well. Thank you in advance for supporting our students and each other through this transition. And congratulations to Charles and Demere on their exciting new positions.
Katrina Caldwell, Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer
Kevin Shollenberger, Vice Provost for Health and Well-Being and Interim Vice Provost for Student Affairs