Kevin G. McDonald appointed vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion

New vice president will succeed Dr. Marcus Martin, who is retiring

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McDonald will serve as a member of Ryan’s cabinet in order to promote inclusiveness while working with University leaders, faculty, staff, students, community members and stakeholders.

Courtesy Univeristy of Virginia

University President Jim Ryan announced the appointment of Kevin G. McDonald to the position of vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion Monday afternoon. McDonald will assume the position on Aug. 1. 

“During our search for a new vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, we have been looking for someone with both experience and a vision for making UVA even more vibrant, diverse and inclusive than it is today,” Ryan said in a press release. “[McDonald] understands that getting the right people in the room isn’t enough — we also need to make it easier to build bridges across apparent lines of difference.”

According to the vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion’s webpage, the role of this position is to uphold the University’s commitment to diversity by promoting a community “that embraces the full spectrum of human attributes, perspectives, and disciplines.” The Office for Diversity and Equity spearheads the University’s efforts to recruit and retain faculty, staff and students from minority and underrepresented groups.

Additionally, the ODE provides leadership and other consulting resources for other units and offices within the University in order to advocate for diversity and inclusiveness throughout the community. 

McDonald will serve as a member of Ryan’s cabinet in order to promote inclusiveness while working with University leaders, faculty, staff, students, community members and stakeholders.

He will succeed Marcus Martin who has served in this position since 2011. Before announcing his retirement last November, Martin had been a faculty member since 1996 and served as a professor and chair for the Department of Emergency Medicine. Throughout his time at the University, Martin dedicated himself to advocating for diversity and inclusivity both in his medical practice and for the larger community. 

“I took an oath to practice the art of medicine without permitting diverse human variations to interfere with the duty to provide compassionate care,” Martin said in an address during Black Alumni Weekend. “UVA is a more diverse community with individuals driven by honor; respect; resilience; sensitivity to other’s needs and feelings; cultivating academic and personal integrity; and synthesizing, integrating, and applying new knowledge.”

Martin will retain the position until Aug. 1. 

A search committee for the next vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion was established shortly after Martin announced his retirement. The committee was chaired by Martin Davidson, Johnson and Higgins Professor of Business Administration and senior associate dean and chief diversity officer for the Darden School of Business. 

“There was tremendous interest in this position from the outset. UVA was seen as a place where real change could happen,” Davidson said in the press release. “The search committee reviewed some of the most accomplished professionals in the country, and Kevin impressed us with the breadth of his experience creating cultures of inclusion that encompassed both the universities he served and the communities in which they were embedded.

McDonald holds a bachelor of science in psychology, a doctorate in education and a law degree. He currently serves as the University of Missouri-Columbia’s vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity. He is also the University of Missouri system’s inclusion officer and is known for establishing Missouri’s first diversity strategic plan to be implemented within the UM system’s overall strategic plan. 

His prior roles include diversity and conflict-resolution positions at Rochester Institute of Technology, Virginia Tech, Johns Hopkins, University of Southern California, and University of Maryland, College Park.

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