Bucknell’s chief diversity officer appointed to vice president for diversity and inclusion at UMD

Photo courtesy of UMD Right Now.

Photo courtesy of UMD Right Now.

The University of Maryland announced Monday that Dr. Georgina Dodge will join the university as its new vice president of diversity and inclusion.

Dodge will join the UMD community in June 2019. She will work closely with the staff of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with the goal of keeping UMD’s core values of diversity, equity and inclusive excellence a priority for all students and faculty.

Dodge will be a member of the President’s cabinet and will work with the Senior Vice President and Provost, the Provost’s Council of Deans and other senior members. The Office of Diversity of Inclusion creates and implements activities and programs along with inclusion and diversity initiatives.

“I am honored to be chosen to lead diversity and inclusion at the University of Maryland,” Dodge said in the university’s statement. “Across many higher education institutions, I have listened and learned from the communities I serve, and I look forward to partnering across the university to foster a vibrant and inclusive climate for all.”

Her career resume and background in successfully fighting to uphold core values that the university holds dear at three other universities is one of the reasons that she was selected for the position.

“She is a tireless advocate for human rights, civil liberties, and equal opportunity,” University President Wallace Loh said in the statement. “She teaches, writes, leads workshops, and engages in community outreach in these areas.”

Ahmed Babiker, a junior computer science major, is excited about Dr. Dodge getting the opportunity to work with Maryland students and faculty. “I appreciate that President Loh wants to ensure that diversity and inclusion is going to be prioritized on campus by selecting Dr. Dodge,” Babiker said.

Dodge has been the chief diversity officer and associate provost for diversity, equity and inclusion at Bucknell University since 2017. Prior to her position at Bucknell, she held a similar title at the University of Iowa for seven years. She also held the positions of associate vice president, Title IX coordinator, and adjunct associate professor of english at Iowa.

The future vice president of diversity and inclusion began her educational career at Ohio State University. Working there for 14 years, she started as an assistant professor of English and eventually worked her way up to the director of the Department of African-American and African Studies Community Extension Center.

Dodge has also taught courses on American literature, multicultural literatures of the U.S., literature and city and regional planning and organizational effectiveness. She has led different workshops on topics such as civic reflection and community service.

Dodge will fill the role left open by Roger Worthington. Worthington was appointed to the same position in July 2017 following a number of racial incidents on campus, including the alleged stabbing of Bowie State student Lt. Richard Collins III. Sean Urbanski, a former student at this university, is facing first-degree murder charges for the death of Collins.

Worthington resigned the position this past summer and Cynthia Edmunds has served as interim chief diversity officer since then.

Ed Xue, a sophomore economics major, is an international student at Maryland and while he thinks that the campus does a good job of providing fair opportunities for students off all races and ethnicities, Xue said he and his friends have been at the end of jokes from local students.

“As Chinese international students, we are sometimes not as open as the American students and we find that they may make fun of us sometimes because we are a little different,” Xue said. “While we are a diverse school, I think we can do even better and that starts with kind treatment for everyone.”

In the university’s statement, Loh acknowledged that while the university has made progress in ensuing its core values, plenty of work lies ahead.

“Our University has come a long way over the years, but it still has a long way to go,” Loh said. “The appointment of our new VP-DI marks the beginning of a new chapter in our journey.”