Message from Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion

Keith Jenkins

Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion

Welcome to RIT, a university embracing inclusive excellence as we advance the exceptional!

Undergraduate students at RIT stand a 54% chance that any two selected at random are of a different race/ethnicity. Add to this RIT landscape myriad students, faculty and staff who also differ by gender, sexual, religious, first generation, socioeconomic, veteran, disability, and international status, among others.

Diversity and inclusion are fundamental aspects of RIT’s identity as an institution and are intrinsically tied to its historic strength as one of America’s most innovative and forward-looking universities.   

RIT’s historical roots sees the welcoming of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the Black Awareness Coordinating Committee in the ‘60s; a President’s Commission on Cultural Diversity in the ‘80s; a President’s Commission for Promoting Pluralism, university Diversity Plans an Assistant Provost for Diversity, and the Center for Women and Gender in the ‘90s; a “faculty recruitment manager” dedicated to recruiting and retaining diverse faculty of color and women, the Multicultural Center for Academic Success (MCAS), the Future Faculty Career Exploration Program (FFCEP), a President’s Commission on Women (PCW), an Office of Faculty Diversity & Recruitment, and the RIT Board of Trustees Diversity Subcommittee, all in the 2000s; and a host of other diversity initiatives supported through the President’s Office, RIT Divisions and Colleges in the 2000s and 2010s, including RIT’s Vice President & Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion; the Division of Diversity & Inclusion (DDI), the Native American Future Stewards Program, several groups supporting Women—in “Science” (WISe), “Engineering” (WE@RIT), “Technology” (WIT), and/or “Computing” (WiC), Diversity Education, Diversity Theater, AdvanceRIT, the Executive Diversity Advisory Committee (focused on staff diversity) and a College of Science (COS) Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence Program (HHMI). 

This tapestry of milestones through several decades capture a university committed to diversity and inclusion and position RIT to be the initiator or early adopter of many best practices in diversity.

Recognized as a prestigious “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, RIT takes enormous pride in its continuing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts that advance a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. 


Sherry Bigelow headshot
Admin Assistant to the Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Incl
Diversity and Inclusion