Diversity, inclusion administrator leaves Northwestern

Jeanne Kuang, Campus Editor

Dona Cordero, assistant provost for diversity and inclusion, is leaving Northwestern to take a job at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Her departure was announced by Provost Daniel Linzer on Monday in an email to the NU community. Cordero’s last day on the job at NU was Friday, and she will start her new position in November.

Cordero came to NU as director of change management in 2000 and was named assistant provost for diversity and inclusion in 2012. She was also the chair of the University Diversity Council.

“Dona has fostered much greater awareness and discussion of all aspects of diversity and inclusion across the University,” Linzer wrote in the announcement.

As assistant provost and chair of the UDC, Cordero led administrative efforts in diversity and inclusion, most recently the potential implementation of a curriculum requirement on diversity and social inequalities. Proposed by the UDC in February 2013, it would be the first University-wide undergraduate academic requirement. The UDC proposed the requirement be implemented in fall 2015, and it is currently being considered by administrators from NU’s undergraduate schools.

Cordero spoke to students in June about the progress of the requirement as part of a panel of administrators addressing the state of inclusion on campus.

Austin Romero, Associated Student Government vice president for diversity and inclusion, worked with Cordero to bring student input to the proposed requirement. Romero said he is “sad to see her leave.”

“I had hoped this year to establish even more of a relationship with her,” the SESP senior said. “My next thing is, who is going to be the new person who is going to help me with this agenda?”

In his announcement, Linzer encouraged the NU community to nominate people for Cordero’s replacement and submit suggestions for members of the search committee that will find and interview candidates.

Students will be included on the search committee, Linzer said in an email to The Daily.

Romero said he wants the new assistant provost to meet with students often and include students’ mental health and ability status into consideration when addressing diversity and inclusion.

Lesley-Ann Brown, director of the Department of Campus Inclusion and Community, and Nsombi Ricketts, assistant dean of diversity and inclusion for The Graduate School, will serve as co-chairs of the UDC until a replacement is hired.

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