UA appoints Lee Gill as chief diversity officer


Akron, Ohio, March 12, 2008 At a special meeting today, The University of Akron Board of Trustees appointed Lee A. Gill as the University's first associate vice president for inclusion and equity/chief diversity officer.

In that role, Gill will direct outreach efforts to diverse populations of students, faculty, staff and community members to develop mentoring programs, workshops and seminars that raise cultural awareness; expand cultural competencies and bring about a greater understanding and valuing of differences in people; lead a broad discussion about the need for a new or revised Inclusive Excellence policy; design and carry out strategies to recruit and retain a diverse pool of students, faculty members and staff members; and assess learning outcomes related to Inclusive Excellence.

"Several years ago, we first encountered the principle of inclusive excellence as we participated in a Greater Expectations Conference hosted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities," says Dr. Elizabeth Stroble, senior vice president and provost and chief operating officer. "As a campus we then defined the goal of making excellence inclusive as one of the five basic principles of Design for the Future. With Mr. Gill's appointment, we take an important step in advancing our goal by identifying a champion for inclusion and equity at The University of Akron. His experience provides confidence that he will conceive and carry out transformational initiatives to create success for all students, faculty, staff and community members."

President Dr. Luis Proenza adds, "Mr. Gill brings to the job a long record of achievement in higher education, and we believe he has the skills and the energy required to help us assess the climate for diversity and inclusive excellence on our campus, and to define the steps that would help make our university even more welcoming."

Gill earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Chicago Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology and a bachelor's degree in political science and sociology from the University of Michigan.

"I'm extremely excited about the opportunity that the search committee and the administration have afforded me," Gill says. "I am honored to be part of a premier university, and I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff and the network of community stakeholders to move the conversation forward regarding diversity and inclusive excellence."

Since 2005, Gill has been chief executive office of the Stratus Group Consultants of Berrien Springs, Mich. The firm provides opinion survey instruments, diversity training, management assessments and advisory services for companies, nonprofits and universities.

Prior to that, Gill was dean of the Institute for Diversity and Leadership/Professional Development and the Affirmative Action officer at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Mich.

In 2003 Lake Michigan College was recognized nationally with the Central Region, Association of Community College Trustees, Charles Kennedy Equity Award for its outstanding diversity initiatives. In addition, Gill was recently named to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Foundation Committee to review the artistic vision of the memorial and to track its progress.

Gill will start his duties Monday, March 24.