July 9, 2009

Miami University official named Purdue's first vice provost for diversity

G. Christine Taylor
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G. Christine Taylor, associate vice president for institutional diversity at Miami University of Ohio, has been named Purdue University's first vice provost for diversity and chief diversity officer.

The appointment, effective Aug. 24, was announced by Purdue President France A. Córdova and is subject to approval by the university's board of trustees.

"Diversity and inclusion are longstanding goals of Purdue, most recently reemphasized throughout our strategic plan," Cordova said. "Dr. Taylor will provide a centralized, university-wide focus to accomplish this goal, with emphasis on attracting and retaining a diverse student body. She has the experience and skills necessary for this key leadership role."

Before joining Miami University, Taylor was a diversity official at Ohio University, where she led initiatives that yielded a 58 percent increase in the number of multicultural students over two years. She also led the design and implementation of need-based scholarship programs targeting students from underserved urban and Appalachian areas.

"Diversity is integral to academic excellence," Taylor said. "I'm excited to have the opportunity to help Purdue build on its diversity accomplishments. I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and students to move the campus forward."

The position of vice provost for diversity and chief diversity officer was created as part of the "New Synergies" strategic plan. The position will provide strategic leadership and vision relating to Purdue's efforts to embrace and promote diversity. Taylor will report to Randy Woodson, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, and will serve as a member of the president's cabinet.

"This position consolidates campus-wide leadership for diversity and inclusion initiatives at Purdue," Woodson said. "Dr. Taylor is ideally suited to lead Purdue's diversity efforts as we seek to foster an educational environment that enhances awareness of multicultural and gender issues."

Taylor was named to her Miami University position in March 2008. Since then she has led a campus-wide team in developing a diversity work force initiative; convened a two-day, campus-wide diversity summit; and produced a briefing to give academic leadership and search committees strategies to diversify candidate pools. She also has worked on a university climate study, a series of diversity dialogues on campus and a diversity/inclusiveness training program for housing, dining and guest services.

Before that, Taylor had been at Ohio University since 1991 and had been assistant to the president for diversity since 2005. She led diversity initiatives identified in the university's strategic plan and diversity outreach programs, including partnerships with K-12 schools, community organizations, multicultural groups and alumni. 

Taylor also has public broadcasting experience.

She has master's and doctorate degrees from Ohio University and a bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University. She also completed the Harvard University Management Development Program.

Margaret M. Rowe, professor of English, chaired Purdue's search committee.

"We had many very fine candidates interested in Purdue, but we think we recruited the best person for this very important position," Rowe said. "Dr. Taylor had strong support from the search committee and from everyone who met her at the university. All of us at Purdue have reason to celebrate."

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu

Sources: France A. Córdova , president@purdue.edu

Randy Woodson, 765-494-9709, woodson@purdue.edu  

G. Christine Taylor, 513-529-1715, taylorgc@muohio.edu

Margaret Rowe, 765-496-2811, mmrowe@exchange.purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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