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Villarreal to Oversee AAC&U Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

Dr. Mary Ann Villarreal has been appointed vice president in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). She will focus on advancing equity and student success efforts in service to undergraduate populations and academic excellence.

Dr. Mary Ann VillarreaDr. Mary Ann Villarrea“AAC&U won over my scholar and practitioner heart the first time I attended the annual meeting as a graduate student,” said Villarreal. “I am excited to be part of an incredible team committed to igniting and deepening the success of higher education institutions and their leaders in service to their diverse communities.”

The vice president-select begins the job Aug. 28, succeeding Dr. Tia Brown McNair, who has joined the higher education consulting firm Sova as a partner while continuing to serve as senior consultant at AAC&U, with a focus on the association's Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Centers initiative.

Villarreal holds a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from Mount Holyoke College and a Ph.D. in history from Arizona State University.

Villarreal served as vice president for equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of Utah, where she was also an instructor and assistant professor of history and ethnic studies. She also served as a member (2019-2024) and chair (in 2023) of the AAC&U Board of Directors among other leadership roles she has undertaken.

“Mary Ann is a visionary leader who brings a wealth of experience to the role of vice president, overseeing diversity, equity, and student success initiatives at AAC&U,” said AAC&U President Dr. Lynn Pasquerella. “I am thrilled to welcome her to the leadership team and look forward to working alongside her to advance the association’s mission at this moment of enormity for higher education and our democracy.”

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