Dr. G. Rumay Alexander has filled the vacant position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion (Chief Diversity Officer), effective August 1. Alexander served as Interim Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) for the past year and Special Assistant to the Chancellor since January 2016. The announcement came after a University-wide search.
“Rumay’s leadership in diversity and inclusion at UNC-Chapel Hill is well-known across campus,” said Vice Chancellor of Workforce Strategy, Equity & Engagement Felicia A. Washington. “I am excited about what lies ahead for Carolina as we continue to cultivate an inclusive environment where every person feels valued and has an opportunity to add value – a culture worthy of our great public research university.”
Since becoming Interim CDO, Alexander has actively worked alongside Washington and senior leadership to refine and comprehensively connect the University’s diversity framework. “D&I is a resource to the University for all our community members, thus our new name, ‘University Office for Diversity & Inclusion,’” she says. The office was formerly known as Diversity & Multicultural Affairs.
“The office will address the issues of our contemporary society and strive to position all students, faculty, and staff to reach their greatest potential.” The D&I framework for the University includes collaborations with campus centers, advising, and the establishment of a cross-D&I Council and an Executive Advisory Council comprising top University leadership.
Alexander looks forward to campus-wide collaboration and support. “We do not teach all the classes, make all of the recruitment, hiring and retention decision for faculty, staff and students…and we do not make all the policies and procedures or rules that apply within the units. Every unit on our campus has its own subculture whose power and impact must be respected.”
To that end, Alexander says that D&I will “actively ask questions and work to get ideas and suggestions about the needs as well as ideation around the collective thinking of how to meet those needs. We will be leaning on the diversity liaisons in the units and working towards alignments and partnerships that overlap with the work we do in an effort to maximize efficiencies.”
Dr. Alexander’s commitment to diversity is robust: She has been on faculty at the School of Nursing since 2003, where she was the school’s first person of color to be a full professor, and is the chair of the Faculty Committee on Community and Diversity. In addition to her faculty position, Dr. Alexander has held an appointment as director of the Office of Inclusive Excellence in the School of Nursing for 13 years and she has also provided leadership and resources in the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the School of Dentistry. Her compelling record of advocacy for equity and inclusion and demonstrated record of implementing transformative inclusion practices is also recognized nationally, as she will become president of the National League for Nursing this fall.