I am pleased to announce that Patricia “Trish” Harris has been appointed the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion’s Senior Director of Education, Operations and Initiatives.
Trish entered the realm of higher education in 2004 with a focus on college access, admission and recruitment and a commitment to equity, college access and improving outcomes for students. She has held positions at Dutchess Community College, Marist College, Bard College, The University of Georgia, Clayton State University and Duke University. Her work highlights cultivating strategic partnerships to create innovative solutions and structural change. She brings extensive leadership in the development and assessment of programming.
A self-proclaimed “professional troublemaker” whose core values include authenticity, competence, service and humor, Trish possesses a breadth of knowledge and experience that has enabled her to contribute to strategic priorities outlined in the most recent strategic plan. Her work centers on understanding the educational context, innovation, and the use of rigorous data-driven analytics that result in real solutions to real problems.
Most recently, Trish served as the inaugural director of recruitment for the UNC School of Education. She provided broad leadership and management of student recruitment, admissions, student engagement, and co- and extra-curricular programs for students. She also supported the school’s diversity initiatives, offering guidance on related legislation and best practices to promote the unit’s vision. For the past five years, she catalyzed change and has been a strong advocate for implementing equitable practices and policies designed to accommodate differences in learning and working contexts, particularly in light of historical factors of disadvantage and marginalization.
From 2018-2021, Trish served as the vice-chair of the Carolina Black Caucus (CBC) and is a current member of the University DEI Council. In addition, she has spearheaded initiatives that buoy efforts to recruit, retain, professionally develop, and boost the cultural competency of faculty and staff members.
She has earned multiple awards and accolades throughout her career, including two “Forty Under 40” recognitions (Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce, 2010 and Triangle Business Journal, 2019), Leader in Diversity (Triangle Business Journal, 2018), Black History Month Honoree (NC Education Lottery), Robert E. Bryan Service Award (Carolina Center for Public Service), the Staff Diversity Award (University Office for Diversity and Inclusion, 2020) and the Rebecca Clark Staff Award for Moral Courage (Employee Forum, 2021). She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and was honored in 2010 with the “Outstanding Member” education award.
Trish is a proud Georgia native and first-generation college student. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Savannah State University and a master’s degree in counseling from Argosy University. In 2019, Trish completed the Women in Education certificate program at Harvard University. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in higher education management from the University of Georgia, where she studied comparative higher education in Europe and China.
Trish will begin her new position on January 24, 2022.
Dr. Leah Cox
Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion/
Chief Diversity Officer