I am delighted today to announce the successful outcome of our search for the College’s first vice president for inclusion, equity, and community (VPIEC). Dina Zavala, currently interim vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, will join us as VPIEC on June 1. You can read more about Dina in the news story about her appointment, but let me say here how much I am looking forward to having her join our community and the College’s senior leadership team.
Members of the search committee, as well as those who have worked closely with Dina at other institutions, have been impressed by her warmth, her commitment, and her eagerness to build relationships and coalitions across many different constituencies and points of view.
I am enormously grateful to members of the search committee, all busy people who found time to spend many hours and days on this important process. Marty Baylor, Vera Coleman, Al Montero, Trenne Fields, Anita Fisher-Egge ’94, Art Rodriguez ’96, Art Onwumere ’24, Zia NoiseCat ’23 and Love Anani ’07 were a dedicated and collegial group, who not only brought forward strong candidates for us to consider but also did a great job of conveying Carleton’s unique strengths to candidates who were considering us.
My deepest thanks go to Co-Chairs Dan Hernández and Trey Williams for their superb leadership of this complex search process. From the creation of the search committee and crafting of the leadership profile, to the selection of candidates and orchestration of campus visits, Dan and Trey have worked tirelessly to ensure a collaborative and transparent process. Their work truly exemplifies what we mean when we talk about wanting to be an inclusive community.
Throughout this process, we have heard many views, encompassing both strong support and some concerns, about how this new role might operate. We are fortunate in having a clear road map for our new vice president’s efforts. Our Community Plan for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity lays out a series of goals that we have affirmed as a community. I know that Dina is excited about working with all of us in the coming years to fulfill those aspirations. By collaborating with, and serving as a resource for, the many offices charged with advancing parts of our IDE Plan, she will expand our capacity for this important work. Her leadership in this area will help us to become more thoughtful, intentional and effective as an institution and as a community.
We plan to have Dina visit campus soon, so that we can begin getting to know her, and she can begin getting to know Carleton. I hope that you will join me in extending her a very warm welcome.