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Western Kentucky Appoints Inaugural Diversity Officer


Western Kentucky University has its first diversity officer.

Richard Miller, associate vice president of Academic Affairs-Faculty Personnel and Academic Policy, has been tapped as Chief Diversity officer, a new position at the school.

Western Kentucky President Gary Ransdell said Miller will oversee the Diversity Enhancement Committee, a merger of two existing committees aimed at ensuring the university has a diverse population and culture.

Miller’s appointment is permanent and he will report directly to Ransdell about matters relating to diversity. Miller will also report to Provost Barbara Burch about matters relating to the faculty in general.

“It’s a major commitment on part of the university to strengthen diversity on the campus, and I am looking forward to this opportunity,” Miller said.

Miller brings a variety of experience to the position, having served as a department chair at Bowie State University in Bowie, Md., dean of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y., and senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of graduate programs at Benedict College in South Carolina.

The new committee Miller will oversee is made up of faculty and staff across campus.

Ransdell said a faculty and staff survey showed support for creating a chief diversity officer for the campus. The University Senate also recommended such a position.

“One of the real challenges we will deal with is the definition of diversity,” Miller said. “It’s a broad term and should be. It includes minorities, women, people with handicapped conditions, race and cultures. It’s a very encompassing term, and we want our university to encompass that cultural richness that our country has.”

Associated Press

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