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Wanda Mitchell – New Title, New Initiatives for Achieving Inclusive Excellence

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
September 1, 2010

Photo: Lisa Nugent, UNH Photographic Services

An initiative of UNH’s strategic plan has led to Vice Provost Wanda Mitchell’s role being broadened to reflect responsibilities for faculty mentoring and professional development.  The title change to vice provost for faculty development and inclusive excellence is evidence of her new functions. The proposal calls for reinforcing the university’s commitment to greater inclusive excellence; renaming UNH’s diversity initiatives to “inclusive excellence” initiatives also reflects current national practices.

“Expanding my role to include faculty development will directly impact UNH’s faculty retention efforts by offering support services for all faculty, while addressing the challenges faced by faculty from under-represented groups,” says Mitchell. “If we support faculty success at all ranks, student success will naturally follow.”

The vice provost for faculty development and inclusive excellence provides leadership for developing and sustaining programs, policies and initiatives to recruit, retain, review, and advance faculty at the university. 

Mitchell will continue to lead and support efforts to create a welcoming academic environment of diverse backgrounds and experiences, and will coordinate and monitor UNH’s inclusive excellence initiatives to advance access, diversity, equity, and academic excellence.

“Dr. Mitchell has already accomplished a great deal in bringing inclusive excellence to life on campus. Her successes with the Statewide Diversity Summit, and in initiating the current faculty development program, among others, demonstrate her commitment to helping each individual achieve their potential in an enriched campus environment,” says Provost John Aber. “Her new title reflects a deepened commitment to the goals expressed in the UNH2020 Strategic Plan. I look forward to working with Dr. Mitchell on continuing efforts and new initiatives.”

In all activities, Mitchell supports the efforts of academic units to excel in their mission of research/creative activities, teaching and learning, and engagement while providing leadership throughout the university and in the external community on issues of diversity, access, and excellence.  Additionally, Mitchell oversees staff support for diversity planning and programming activities for the four president’s commissions.

“New Hampshire demographics are changing and it is evident in our incoming students and new faculty. Therefore, active and intentional efforts to build an engaged campus learning community where persons of diverse cultures, experiences and backgrounds must interact is UNH’s goal; and inclusive strategies will yield measurable outcomes for access, diversity, and academic excellence,” Mitchell says.

Mitchell came to UNH in 2002 as a visiting professor in the education department, after serving as a department chair. In 2004, she became the special assistant to the provost for diversity initiatives.

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