Keith Jenkins Headshot

Keith Jenkins

Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion Leadership
Diversity and Inclusion

Office Location
Office Mailing Address
George Eastman Building 12 Lomb Memorial Drive Rochester NY

Keith Jenkins

Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion Leadership
Diversity and Inclusion


BA, University of Arkansas; MA, Ph.D., Florida State University


Since joining the Department of Communication at RIT in 1992, Professor Jenkins, in addition to his current role as Vice President ; Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion, has also served as RIT Faculty-in-Residence (1993 – 1995), RIT’s first Assistant Provost for Diversity (1999 – 2002), Director of Undergraduate Degree Programs in the School of Communication (2011 – 2016), and Interim Vice President and Associate Provost, Division for Diversity & Inclusion (2016 - 2017).

Professor Jenkins is the recipient of many awards. Among the RIT awards are the 2010 Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching, the 2005 Isaac L. Jordan Pluralism Award, the 2004 RIT Diversity Trailblazer Award, the 1993-94 Provost’s Excellence in Teaching Award, the 1996 and 1997 Higher Education Opportunity Program “Community Professor” awards which recognize a professor who has made a difference in the lives of HEOP students at RIT, and NTID’s (National Technical Institute for the Deaf) 1995 Pluralism Award.

Professor Jenkins’ scholarly publications and presentations center around studies in intercultural communication, political and visual rhetoric, and the rhetoric of gospel song. Most recently, the focus of his research has been on pragmatism and the rhetoric of inclusion in Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign.


Select Scholarship

Invited Article/Publication
Wick, David P. and Keith B. Jenkins. "Shaping an Institutional Narrative Around Diversity." INSIGHT Into Diversity. (2018). Print.
Published Article
Jenkins, Keith B., and Grant Cos. “A Time for Change and a Candidate’s Voice: Pragmatism and the Rhetoric of Inclusion in Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign.” American Behavioral Scientist, 54.3 (2010): 184-202. Print.

Currently Teaching

3 Credits
Intercultural communication provides an examination of the role of culture in face-to-face interaction. Students may find a basic background in communication, anthropology, or psychology useful.
3 Credits
Rhetoric of Race Relations examines the history of the struggle for freedom and equality for blacks in American society. This course traces the history and rhetoric of key spokespersons from the pre-Civil War period to the 20th century as evidenced in texts of selected public speeches and reactions to them.

In the News

  • February 14, 2022

    political cartoon with Martin Luther King Jr. holding a sign that reads: Equal Rights and two police officers saying: We find your speech hurtful, Dr. King.

    Creating a free speech campus culture

    After the contested 2020 presidential election, the tumult of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and the national protests following the killing of George Floyd, RIT looked inward to see how to address the political climate with the student body. The result is an increased effort to create a campus culture of free speech and to give students the skills to participate in civil discourse respectfully and productively long after they graduate.

  • January 31, 2022

    two students sitting outside and laughing.

    Community of innovators hits record numbers

    RIT’s community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni has grown larger than ever. Enrollment jumped to a new record last fall with 19,718 students studying across all campuses, up 1,050 from fall 2020.