Rochester Institute of Technology President Bill Destler announced that Kevin McDonald has been named vice president for diversity and inclusion. McDonald had been RIT’s chief diversity officer prior to this appointment.
McDonald will focus on connecting RIT’s diversity efforts to all aspects of the institution. He has worked with the RIT and NTID communities to develop a model diversity framework that focuses on access and success for faculty, staff and students; campus climate and intergroup relations; education and scholarship; and institutional infrastructure.
“I feel very fortunate to work with committed team members and a deeply caring community that recognizes diversity as an asset, not a deficit,” says McDonald, who has been with the university since 2010. “With this collective mindset, I am confident that we will continue to make significant strides in the diversity arena.”
His concentration will also be on enhancing the pipeline of scholars from the city of Rochester, women and those from historically underrepresented groups. RIT’s McNair Scholars, Future Stewards and the recent Rochester City Scholars programs, among other major initiatives in departments and colleges, have established a foundation for the university to prepare the scholars of tomorrow, says McDonald.
“Kevin McDonald has been a tremendous addition to RIT as our chief diversity officer, and I have elevated his position to that of vice president for diversity and inclusion, effective immediately,” says Destler. “Progress in building the diversity of our student, faculty and staff populations is being made, and we need to rededicate ourselves to this important work over the year ahead. Vice President McDonald will be charged with examining all of our faculty, staff and student recruitment efforts to ensure that our recent progress in increasing the African American, Latino American and Native American populations across campus can be maintained and accelerated, if possible.”
The Office for Diversity and Inclusion includes a central office staff for assessment and research, diversity education, cultural programming and public relations/marketing as well as the Multicultural Center for Academic Success, the McNair Scholars Program and the Future Stewards Program.
Before coming to RIT, McDonald served as the vice president for equity and inclusion at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va. He also held positions as the director of the Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at Virginia Tech, associate director for compliance and conflict resolution at Johns Hopkins University and campus compliance officer at the University of Maryland, College Park.
McDonald holds a law degree from Ohio State University and is in the process of completing his doctoral degree in higher education from the University of Rochester. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich. He holds several certifications in both traditional and transformative models of mediation, and is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, American Association for Affirmative Action Officers and National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.