Faculty and staff split into small groups to discuss allyship. Ashley Ladin | Mustang News

Cal Poly hired a new Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, President Jeffrey Armstrong announced in an email July 1.

The university recruited Paulette Granberry Russell for the position during the university-wide hiring chill. Russell will oversee the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion beginning on Aug. 31, 2020. 

The hiring chill was announced in June while three positions were vacant, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Cal Poly Corporation, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion and Vice President of Development.  

Beginning in 1998, Russell worked as Michigan State University’s Chief Diversity Officer. In March, she was elected president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE). 

Russell was the first woman to serve as president of the NADOHE and was responsible for overseeing 1,000 senior campus diversity officers and professionals in over 300 two and four year universities across the United States.

President Armstrong said Russell is an emergency hire after the recent retirement of Jozi De Leon, Cal Poly’s first Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion.

Before Aug. 31, Ethnic Studies Department Chair Denise Isom will be overseeing responsibilities in Office of University Diversity and Inclusion.

“This vice president role is a critical component of our campus leadership team — particularly in this moment in history when racial justice and equality are at the forefront of our national discussion,” Armstrong wrote in the email. 

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