Rochester Institute of Technology President Bill Destler has appointed Kevin McDonald as the university’s chief diversity officer. McDonald has served for the last two years as the vice president for equity and inclusion at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va.
“I am excited about being afforded an opportunity to join the RIT community,” says McDonald. “RIT has a wonderful history steeped in a commitment to diversity and pluralism, and a desire at the highest levels of leadership to continue building on this solid foundation.”
McDonald’s position at Virginia Tech was created to combine the college’s multicultural affairs staff with the Equal Opportunity Employment department. The groups focused on the recruitment, retention and engagement of diverse faculty, staff and students. While at Virginia Tech, McDonald developed Project LEAD, a community-based program designed to provide high school students with the leadership and academic skills necessary to enter and complete college.
Previously, MacDonald was the director of the Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at Virginia Tech. He held positions at several other universities, including as associate director, compliance and conflict resolution at Johns Hopkins University and campus compliance officer at the University of Maryland, College Park.
“Kevin has been a proactive and strategic advocate for the issues of diversity and inclusion throughout his career,” says Destler. “His passionate commitment to the issues of diversity and inclusion, as well as his enthusiasm, energy and positive spirit will serve him well in this critical role at RIT.”
“I look forward to meeting with constituents at RIT over the months that follow my arrival and learning about the organizational culture, the challenges, the opportunities and their collaborative spirits,” McDonald adds. “I look forward to partnering with many to move the diversity and inclusion efforts at RIT forward, but most of all, I look forward to now calling the RIT community—my community.”
McDonald holds a law degree from Ohio State University and is in the process of completing his doctoral degree in Sociology-Africana Studies. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich. He holds several certifications in both conflict resolution and social justice. He is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, American Association for Affirmative Action and National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.
McDonald will assume the chief diversity officer position Jan. 13. He will be introduced to the RIT Board of Trustees at their quarterly meeting Nov. 12–13.