Annie Holmes will leave her position as University Diversity and Inclusivity executive director and will join Philadelphia-based Opportunity Finance Network as the company’s vice president for equity, according to a university email.
Dean of Students Jean DeCosta, who is retiring from her current post at the end of fall quarter, will fill in as the interim executive director for University Diversity and Inclusivity beginning in January. She will be joined by Denise Isom — ethnic studies department chair and professor — who will be the interim associate director of the office.
Holmes was arguably the highest-ranking black woman at Cal Poly. She worked for the university for three years. During her tenure, Holmes worked to execute the Campus Climate Survey, develop the university’s Diversity Strategic Framework and create the BEACoN mentors program, the email said.
Diversity has been a topic of discussion at Cal Poly recently, after students protested hate speech written on the Cal Poly College Republicans’ Free Speech Wall. The event led to a university open forum, the formation of student activist movement SLO Solidarity and emails from university administrators emphasizing the importance of inclusivity.