Public forums start next week in search for VP of Diversity at UK

Dear Campus Community,

In February, a search committee for the position of vice president for institutional diversity was charged with launching a national search to find the most qualified candidate for this critically important role at such an important juncture in the life of our university.

After conducting a thorough interview process, we are pleased to announce that we are moving forward with finalists who will come to campus next week to further engage with our community.

Specifically, the finalists for this permanent role will be on the UK campus June 1, June 2 and June 4 to participate in open forums and meet with numerous constituent groups.

Per our usual process, names and curricula vitae for these individuals will be posted on the search website 48 hours in advance of their forums. Additionally, a leadership profile for the position is available here.

After the forums, UK community members will have the opportunity to view the recordings and submit feedback through a webform on the search website. The details of each forum are below:

  • Candidate A Open Forum: June 1 at 3:30 p.m. at the Gatton College of Business and Economics Room 111
  • Candidate B Open Forum: June 2 at 3:30 p.m. at the Gatton College of Business and Economics Room 111
  • Candidate C Open Forum: June 4 at 3:30 p.m. at the Gatton College of Business and Economics Room 111

Search committee members include:

  • Dr. Trisha Clement-Montgomery, Dean of Students; Co-Chair
  • Dr. Bob DiPaola, Dean, College of Medicine; Co-Chair
  • Dr. Cristina Alcalde, Associate Dean of Inclusion and Internationalization for the College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies
  • Dr. Chana Akins, Assistant Provost for Faculty Advancement Initiatives, Professor of Psychology
  • Dr. Ihsan Bagby, Associate Professor of Modern and Classical Language, Literature and Cultures
  • Dr. Mia Farrell, Assistant Dean and Director for Diversity in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • Dr. Huajing Maske, Executive Director of the UK Office of China Initiatives (OCI) and former Executive Director for the UK Confucius Institute
  • Dr. Everett McCorvey, Professor of Voices and Director of the UK Opera Theatre
  • Mr. Joe Reed, Chief Accountability Officer and Audit Executive, Internal Audit
  • Dr. Tukea Talbert, Chief Diversity Officer, UK Healthcare
  • Dr. Anita Fernander, Associate Professor and DEI Director, Department of Behavioral Science
  • Mr. Justin Sumner, Staff Senator and Inclusive Health Partnerships Council Member
  • Mr. Bilal Shaikh, Former Student Body Vice President, Student Government Association

For further information about the search process, please contact Mary Beth Bracken at 859-257-3348 or via email at

Thank you to the members of the search committee for their ongoing commitment to this process. And thank you to Dr. George Wright, who has served as the interim vice president for institutional diversity for more than a year at such a critical moment.

We are a community that aspires to be a place where everyone belongs and can be their authentic selves.

This leadership position will be instrumental in helping us realize that aspiration. We hope you will consider participating in these community forums, and providing feedback, in the coming days.

Categories: Featured, Local News, News, State News

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