Vice president for diversity and inclusion leaving RIT for new role in the University of Missouri System

Kevin McDonald will develop a strategic framework and key diversity initiatives for the System and its four institutions

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Kevin McDonald

Kevin McDonald will step down as vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion at Rochester Institute of Technology to take on a similar role for the University of Missouri System. McDonald, who has held the position of RIT’s diversity steward since January 2010, will leave RIT on May 27.

“It has been an honor to serve the RIT/NTID and Rochester communities over the past six years. In fact, my experience at RIT has been the most fulfilling of my career,” said McDonald. “My strong relationships with students, faculty, staff, alumni and local community members are something that I will always cherish and I will be forever grateful for the kindness and collaborative spirit this amazing community has shown me.”

While at RIT, McDonald enhanced multicultural programming efforts; established the Inclusive Excellence Strategic Framework; developed initiatives such as MOCHA—Men of Color, Honor and Ambition, a leadership development initiative for undergraduate males; and led a department team consisting of a central office staff for assessment and research, diversity education, cultural programming and public relations/marketing. RIT’s diversity office includes the Multicultural Center for Academic Success, the McNair Scholars Program, the MOSAIC Center, the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program, the I’m First Initiative, Higher Education Opportunity Program, Office for Faculty Recruitment, and the Native American Future Stewards Program.

“Kevin McDonald’s service to the RIT community has been nothing less than extraordinary. His vision for a campus community committed to inclusive excellence and his innovative approaches toward this end have made him one of the most highly respected diversity officers in the nation,” said RIT President Bill Destler. “Dr. McDonald’s commitment to equity and understanding within our college communities is unwavering, and the University of Missouri will greatly benefit from his presence and leadership.”

RIT Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeremy Haefner agreed. “Kevin McDonald has been the perfect partner with me in our efforts to advance diversity, inclusion and equity at RIT. His vision around inclusive excellence became my vision due to his inspiring leadership and his contributions from MCAS, MOCHA/WOCHA and the Martin Luther King series has transformed how diversity and inclusion is embraced on campus. Kevin is a change agent and has a calling to do great things in higher education. The Missouri system is lucky to have him and we will miss his leadership here at RIT.”

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 a doctoral degree in higher education leadership from the University of Rochester. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich.

“When I came to RIT, my goal was to have more successes than failures and to leave RIT in a better ‘inclusive’ space than when I arrived,” McDonald added. “I hope that when others reflect on my tenure here, they will be able to say that I accomplished that.”

RIT is expected to announce an interim leader for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Plans for a national search are pending at this time.