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RIT names VP for diversity and inclusion

Rochester Business Journal
September 2, 2011

Rochester Institute of Technology has named its chief diversity officer as the new vice president for diversity and inclusion.

Kevin McDonald has been named to the position and will focus on connecting RIT’s diversity efforts to all aspects of the institution, RIT officials said Friday.

In his previous position, McDonald worked with the RIT and NTID communities to develop a model diversity framework that focuses on access and success for faculty, staff and students, and took efforts to improve campus climate and intergroup relations.

“I feel very fortunate to work with committed team members and a deeply caring community that recognizes diversity as an asset, not a deficit,” said McDonald, who has been with RIT since 2010. “With this collective mindset, I am confident that we will continue to make significant strides in the diversity arena.”

McDonald will concentrate on enhancing the pipeline of scholars from the city of Rochester, women and those from historically underrepresented groups, RIT officials said.

The university’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, McDonald said.

“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,” said William Destler, RIT president. “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.”

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.

(c) 2011 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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