Cal Poly/Courtesy Photo
Cal Poly/Courtesy Photo

Cal Poly has hired a new vice president and chief officer for diversity and inclusion, according to an email from the President’s Office. Josephine (Jozi) De Leon will join Cal Poly this July to lead efforts toward fostering a more inclusive campus climate.

Beginning July 10, De Leon will report directly to President Jeffrey Armstrong and head the Office of Diversity and Inclusivity, which is responsible for promoting and implementing equity and diversity programs in support of an inclusive working and learning environment, the press release said.

DeLeon will oversee the development, reviews and effectiveness of new diversity and inclusion programs affecting faculty, staff and students. She will also work as a collaborative partner to engage and educate campus and community members.

“I am excited to join the Cal Poly community and advance the university’s efforts to cultivate a welcoming, supportive environment where we integrate diversity as a key component in enhancing Cal Poly’s excellence,” De Leon said in the press release. “My first priority will be to connect with stakeholders across campus and listen to their assessment of our strengths and gain insight on areas where we can build collective effort.”

De Leon currently serves as vice president for equity and inclusion at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque and is a professor of their Department of Educational Specialties. She was chosen from candidates across the nation through a rigorous recruitment process, according to the press release.

De Leon has focused her career on the education of underrepresented students. In her position at the University of New Mexico, she has led and coordinated diversity initiatives for a university that is considered one of four Hispanic Serving Institutions with a Carnegie Research Extensive designation in the country since 2008, according to the press release.

Prior to her current position with the University of New Mexico, De Leon served as the first deputy secretary for Academic Affairs, Planning and Research for New Mexico in 2005 when the New Mexico Higher Education Department was created. De Leon supervised the Educational Equity Division within the department and helped form policy to create greater accessibility for all New Mexico students pursuing higher education.

De Leon has received many awards, including the Women of Influence award from Albuquerque Business First and the Dolores Huerta “Walking the Talk” award from the New Mexico Hispanic Round Table, which recognized her commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice in 2012.

“I am delighted that Jozi will bring her wealth of experience and dedicated focus on diversity and inclusion initiatives to Cal Poly,” Armstrong said in the press release. “Her deep breadth of knowledge will complement and enhance the efforts of our talented faculty and staff as we continue to nurture a diverse, inclusive and welcoming campus.”

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