Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Staff Transition

September 27, 2018
Dear Harvard College Students,
 
As we settle into the academic year, Harvard College continues its efforts to create an open and inclusive environment for each of you. I write today to update you on our efforts in this area, and to share important news regarding the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).
 
Many of you have gotten to know Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Roland Davis since his appointment in October 2017. I am sad to announce that he will step down from his position at the end of this month for personal reasons. In his time at Harvard, Dean Davis has helped the College better understand the social, cultural, and psychological factors that impact many communities on our campus, and we are all deeply grateful to him for his work.
 
This past spring, in response to the final report of the Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging, staff members from the EDI Office and the Harvard Foundation began to think critically about the ways these organizations support students, and about what structure would allow us to best meet the evolving needs of our community. Aligned with this thinking, the College has decided to conduct a formal review of the administrative structures of the EDI Office and the Harvard Foundation – all toward a goal of integrating these important organizations for the benefit of our students. In the coming days, Dean Khurana will establish an Advisory Board to assist him with this review. This group, comprised of students, faculty, and staff, will also provide input into the search process for the College’s new Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion, details of which will be announced in November.
 
In the interim, I have asked Associate Dean of Students Alex Miller to lead three of the four offices that comprise the EDI Office: the Office of BGLTQ Student Life; the Office of Diversity Education and Support; and the Women’s Center. At this time, Harvard College’s Title IX Office will report to me, and Associate Dean Joan Rouse will continue as the Interim Director of the Harvard Foundation.
 
The EDI Office and the Harvard Foundation are vital resources in our College community, offering programs and initiatives that help to embed diversity and inclusion in the fabric of our academic, residential, and work environments. Both organizations play an important role in connecting our community through social events, creating opportunities for fellowship and understanding, and fostering a safer, more diverse, and inclusive campus. We are committed to ensuring that both of these important resources continue to flourish at the College under outstanding leadership and direction.
 
I look forward to sharing further details with you in the coming months. 
 
Sincerely,


Katie O’Dair
Dean of Students