Wendy Smooth named senior vice provost for inclusive excellence at Ohio State

Executive Vice President and Vice President Melissa L. Gilliam of The Ohio State University today announced that Wendy Smooth, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the College of Arts and Sciences, will serve the position of the university’s Senior Vice President for Inclusive Excellence.

“In this role, Wendy will provide institutional leadership as we advance a culture of inclusion and ensure that all can belong, fully participate, and thrive in the State of Ohio,” Gilliam said. “Here, we define diversity broadly, encompassing differences not only between backgrounds and identities, but also perspectives and ideas. Our Shared Values ​​initiative informs this commitment we have as a university community. Wendy will be an integral part of animating and operationalizing these values. »

Smooth’s date begins August 1.

Smooth will work closely with institutional leaders to embed inclusive excellence into the university’s core work of teaching, learning, research and service. His work will span the arc from prevention to compliance, allowing the university to take a more streamlined and strategic approach to creating an inclusive culture. Smooth’s leadership is expected to guide, inform, and amplify the strength of Ohio State’s existing footprint across multiple areas and units, three of which she will oversee:

  • The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, led by Vice Provost James L. Moore, which supports the recruitment, retention, and success of students, faculty, and staff who enhance Ohio State’s diversity.
  • The Office of Institutional Equity, led by Associate Vice President Keesha Mitchell, which educates and supports the Ohio State community in preventing and responding to all forms of harassment, discrimination and bullying. sexual misconduct.
  • The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, led by Acting Executive Director Beverly Vandiver, an interdisciplinary research center and hub for education, scholarship and outreach.

As Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the College of Arts and Sciences, Smooth led the vision of inclusive excellence for the college and supported initiatives in 38 departments and schools in addition to the many centers and college research institutes.

Among her many accomplishments, she designed and implemented year-round learning communities for presidents and principals through which each leader developed an action plan for their department or school to make advancing equity and inclusion practices. Smooth has also worked with colleagues to embed inclusive practices into all elements of the arts and sciences academic lifecycle – including faculty recruitment and retention initiatives, annual reviews, promotion, and tenure.

Smooth’s leadership also extends across the university. She has been invaluable in the development and operationalization of the Race, Inclusion, and Social Equity (RAISE) initiative and is a member of its Proposal Advisory Board. She has also chaired the President’s and Provost’s Council on Women, the Senate University Committee on Diversity, and the Sports Council. In 2020, Ohio State recognized his contributions with the President’s and Provost’s Award for Distinguished Faculty Service.

She is a faculty member in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, with courtesy appointments in the Department of Political Science and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Her scholarship focuses on the experiences of women of color as legislators in American political institutions and on issues of women of color in public policy.

Smooth received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Xavier University in Louisiana and her master’s and doctoral degrees in government and politics as well as a certificate in women’s studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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