Five Black Scholars Who Have Been Appointed to Diversity Posts in Higher Education

Larry P. Thomas was named chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer in the Applied Research Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University. He is an assistant research professor and head of the Leadership Development, Culture, and Student Programs Hub. He previously served as founding director of the award-winning Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars program at American University in Washington, D.C.

Thomas is a graduate of Rowan University in New Jersey. He earned a master’s degree in higher education administration and an MBA in entrepreneurship and& innovation from Syracuse University in New York.

Sibby Anderson-Thompkins was appointed vice provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer at Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee. Dr. Anderson-Thompkins has been serving as special advisor to the chancellor and provost for equity and inclusion, and as the interim chief diversity officer, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Anderson-Thompkins earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a master’s degree in educational research and a Ph.D. in educational policy studies from Georgia State University.

Kauline Cipriani will be the new vice president for diversity and inclusion at Colorado State University, as of August 1. She has been serving as associate dean for inclusive excellence at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Cipriani earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. She holds a master’s degree in microbiology and genetics and a Ph.D. in food microbiology from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Lemuel W. Watson was named acting vice provost for diversity and inclusion at Indiana University in Bloomington. He is a Provost Professor and associate vice president for diversity, equity, and multicultural affairs at the university. Dr. Watson joined the university in 2018 as dean of the School of Education. Earlier, he was a professor of education and executive director of the Center for Innovation in Higher Education at the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Watson is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where he majored in management. He holds a master’s degree in education from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and a doctorate in higher education and policy from Indiana University.

Norm Jones has been named interim chief diversity officer at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. He was chief equity and inclusion officer at Amherst College in Massachusetts. Earlier, Dr. Jones was associate chief diversity officer at Harvard University and associate vice president and dean of institutional diversity at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Jones is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he majored in English. He holds a master of public administration degree and a Ph.D. in workplace education and development from Pennsylvania State University.

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