TaJuan Wilson, University of Iowa associate vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), has chosen to resign his current position and move to the Office of the Vice President for External Relations to support special projects for the university.
“Coming to Iowa was a leap of faith for me personally and professionally. I have great respect for the university and the work being done in diversity, equity, and inclusion and believe Iowa has the potential to be on the right path. This opportunity will be wonderful for the right person, but it is not the right fit for me at this time,” says Wilson.
As Wilson pursues a new opportunity, he will spend the next five-and-one-half months working with the vice president for external relations, Peter Matthes, on initiatives that support the university’s work to become a more inclusive and equitable campus.
“TaJuan provided the campus with a fresh look at our action plan and valuable feedback regarding our implementation plan,” says Executive Vice President and Provost Montse Fuentes. “I’m thankful for his thoughtful contributions.”
In order to bring clarity to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on campus, the units that make up the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—the Center for Diversity and Enrichment; the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity; and Diversity Resources—now report through the Office of the Provost. The directors of the three units will now also report directly to the provost, providing direct links between all the leaders.
“Strong collaboration between the provost and the three directors, along with deans and other campus leaders, is crucial to executing the goals of the DEI Action Plan,” says UI President J. Bruce Harreld. “The alignment of these exceedingly important units with the Office of the Provost is another step in continuing to create a cohesive approach to supporting, recruiting, and retaining students, faculty, and staff.”
Says Provost Fuentes, “I am excited to build upon the work that has already happened because of the tireless commitment of our existing team and our partners across campus. These campus leaders and their teams will help guide us as we tackle our identified issues as a campus. It is time for our campus community to start taking actions clearly outlined in the action plan to implement our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”