“The George Washington University has a long history of equal opportunity and a strong commitment to diversity,” says President Knapp. “But there is more we can do to build the diversity of our student body, faculty and staff, and to make sure we are providing a welcoming and supportive environment for persons of all backgrounds."
The key components of the initiative, announced February 12, are the creation of the position of associate provost for diversity and inclusion and the establishment of a President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion.
The associate provost for diversity and inclusion will provide leadership on all aspects of educational and employment equity, access, cultural understanding and competency, and human rights. The associate provost will report to the new provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, for whom a search is currently underway, and will also work closely with the chief human resources officer.
The President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion will be composed of members representing the breadth of the university community. Its role will be to generate ideas and formulate recommendations for increasing the university’s effectiveness in reaching out to persons of all backgrounds, and to provide advice and feedback to the associate provost for diversity and inclusion.
This initiative is the latest in a series President Knapp has launched to strengthen the university community since his arrival in fall 2007. Previous examples include presidential task forces on safety and security, sustainability, and innovation.