A Google search for the term “chief diversity officer” delivers 5.6 million results. Many colleges and universities across the world have added an administrative post with the title of chief diversity officer in recent years. At some educational institutions, students have protested demanding that such an official be appointed.
But at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, the position of chief diversity officer has just been eliminated. The position was created six years ago and was held by G. Christine Taylor. Dr. Taylor is no longer employed by the university. Before joining the staff at Purdue in 2009, Dr. Taylor was associate vice president for institutional diversity at Miami University in Ohio. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Ohio State University.
Provost Debasish Dutta will assume authority over all the university’s diversity programs, all of which will be continued. Dr. Dutta has not been pleased with the progress, or lack thereof, of increasing the diversity of the university’s faculty.
Dr. Dutta is appointing two faculty members as provost fellows to help him with his new workload. The first appointee is Venetria K. Patton, a professor of English and African American studies. Dr. Patton is also director of the African American Studies and Research Center at the university. Professor Patton is a graduate of the University of La Verne in California. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Riverside.