History

A variety of units promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) have been established over the years at the University of Maryland. The first unit with a broad, campus-wide, multidimensional mission for EDI was the Office of Human Relations Programs (1971). It evolved over time and has been incorporated into the current Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI). Today, ODI is considered a department with three sub-departments. They include the Nyumburu Cultural Center (1971), the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity Center (1998), and Diversity Training and Education (2017). Diversity Training and Education evolved from an interim version of what was the Office of Human Relations Programs and the current ODI.

Background

The position of chief diversity officer (CDO) was a primary recommendation of the 2010 report, Transforming Maryland, Expectations for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion. It also called for the creation of the Office of University Diversity to be led by the CDO. The CDO and additional staff in the office “will advocate for diversity and equity issues; provide active oversight, coordination, and evaluation of work in these areas; track university progress in meeting the goals of the diversity strategic plan; and encourage and support the efforts of units to achieve their diversity goals. (p. 14) Three additional bullet points gave fuller definition to the Office of University Diversity (p. 15).

UMD's First CDO

2012-2017

With a new CDO, the position of Associate Provost for Equity and Diversity was retired. The newly created Office of University Diversity consisted of the CDO, a deputy CDO (DCDO) who had been and continued to be associate vice president for academic affairs/assistant to the president, and a program coordinator who had worked for the associate provost for equity and diversity.

The Office of University Diversity as the new Office of Diversity & Inclusion

The Office of Human Relations Programs had evolved over the years. In January 2012, it was known as the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and was responsible for providing programs on diversity and inclusion, and for compliance with the university's nondiscrimination policy. Dr. Shorter-Gooden felt that ODI was a more appropriate name for the Office of University Diversity and changed the name accordingly. The ODI that had been the Office of Human Relations Programs became the Office of Diversity Education and Compliance (ODEC), a name that more precisely described its mission.

A Period of Transitions, 2017-2018

In the early hours of May 20, 2017, Lt. Richard Collins III, a senior about to graduate from Bowie State University, was murdered on the College Park campus by Sean Urbanski, a student at the University of Maryland. The search for a new CDO was in its final phases. Given the new urgency, President Loh ended the search and named Dr. Roger Worthington as the new interim associate provost and chief diversity officer. Dr. Worthington, a scholar and national leader on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education, had been chair of the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education within the College of Education.