Caldwell ‘hits the ground running’ as assistant vice president for diversity and equity

Katrina Caldwell

Katrina Caldwell

Setting the direction for a successful university diversity program is nothing new for Northern Illinois University’s new assistant vice president for diversity and equity, Katrina Myers Caldwell.

After all, the 2012 Who’s Who in Black Chicago honoree has a track record of successful strategic planning and implementation of diversity programs at Chicago-area higher education institutions since the mid-1990s.

“I am extremely excited about working at an institution with such a strong brand and believe that I can contribute greatly to Student Affairs and Enrollment Management’s demonstrated commitment to diversity and equity,” Caldwell said. “The university’s ultimate goal is to develop programs that reflect our commitment to social justice, to celebrate the diverse cultures represented on the campus and to build a campus culture that recognizes the dignity and contributions of all members of the NIU community.”

Caldwell is widely regarded as an up-and-coming star in the field of diversity in higher education. In 2011, she was recognized as a recipient of Diversity/MBA Magazine’s Top 100 under 50 Emerging and Executive Leaders Award as a result of her leadership and vision in the field.

“My vision includes using time-tested best practices and innovative strategies to create transformative cultural engagement opportunities for students, which will make us a model for diversity and highlight the important work that is being done in NIU’s Cultural Centers,” Caldwell said.

She started at NIU July 1, after serving eight years at DePaul University. Caldwell was hired there as director of adult student affairs in 2004, and by 2008 she was creating cultural programs that celebrate the values of the diverse communities at the university as director for the Center for Intercultural Programs, serving on the President’s Diversity Council responsible for DePaul’s university-wide diversity strategic plan.

“I look forward to working with my leadership team to develop a bold strategic plan that will highlight our commitment to serving the needs of our respective constituent populations as well as the value of a cross-cultural collaborative approach to issues that often impact our communities in similar ways,” Caldwell said.

At the University of Illinois at Chicago, Caldwell served as assistant dean of minority affairs from 1998-2004, developing and successfully implementing a strategic plan to increase outreach to prospective students, retention/graduation of graduate fellowship students and professional development programs.

Prior to 1998, Caldwell served as the director of Higher Education Basics Program, Student Assessment and Outcomes at East-West University and associate director of the Summer Research Opportunities Program at UIC.

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