UM System hires first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
COLUMBIA - University of Missouri System Interim President Michael Middleton announced the hiring of Dr. Kevin McDonald as the UM System's first ever chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer Wednesday.
McDonald served as the vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion at Rochester Institution of Technology. Previously, he was vice president for equity and inclusion at Virginia Tech and has also served in compliance roles at John Hopkins University and University of Maryland in College Park.
He also holds certifications with the Cornell Diversity & Inclusion Studies Program and is a certified mediator in three primary mediation models.
"Dr. McDonald's extensive background and expertise in diversity and inclusion efforts, specifically across the higher education realm, makes him the perfect fit for this crucial role," Middleton said. "Inclusion is vital to the success of all our students, staff and faculty. The UM System will benefit immensely from his experience as he plans to foster more inclusive campus environments that embody a true culture of respect."
The press release said this appointment was one of several initiatives prioritized by the Board of Curators to address diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the university system. These initiatives include conducting a full review of organizational policies, establishing a system wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force to develop long and short-term plans and metrics, and providing support for the hiring and retention of diverse faculty and staff.
"As one of the state's largest employers and the academic home to nearly 78,000 students, it is critical that the UM System prioritize its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to align with and to keep abreast of best practices and current trends across all industries. In doing this, we have a real opportunity to serve as a national leader among higher education institutions," Middleton said.
In this position, McDonald will work to identify and address organizational and systemic issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. He will also serve as an adviser to the UM System president and general officers to implement diversity efforts with leaders across the system and oversee collaborative projects with the four campuses and health care.
McDonald's starting salary is $235,000 and the appointment takes effect June 1.