Carthene Bazemore-Walker recently joined the University of Richmond administration to fill a new position in the School of Arts and Sciences, assistant dean for diversity, thriving and inclusivity.
This position was created to help fulfill the “Community” and “Conscience” goals of the School of Arts & Sciences strategic plan, Concept 30, Patrice Rankine, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, said in an email.
“The Assistant Dean for Diversity appointment enables Arts & Sciences to robustly interact with the Thriving and Inclusion goal of ‘Forging our Future, Building from Strength,’ the University strategic plan,” Rankine said.
In her position, Bazemore-Walker plans to interact with the different stakeholders on campus: faculty, staff and students, she said. She recently met with Glyn Hughes, director of Common Ground.
“I need to understand U of R," Bazemore-Walker said. "I need to understand what’s going on here first. Then I can begin to partner with those individuals across campus, in addition to those people in A&S, to build upon efforts to help bring about inclusivity, not just you know all the M&Ms in the bag, but that they all play together nicely.”
In her position, Bazemore-Walker said she planned on bringing training workshops to campus for faculty and staff to focus on inclusive pedagogy, a way to honor everybody who is in the classroom and be more aware of the diversity of students in class.
Recruitment efforts to bring more diverse faculty and staff members to campus are also part of her initiative, she said.
“We have active searches for diverse and exceptional faculty at all ranks,” Rankine said. “Dr. Bazemore-Walker is prepared to assist us well in our work, ensuring we increase diversity in our professoriate and support our faculty, staff and students.”
Bazemore-Walker’s previous work at various institutions prepared her for this new position, Rankine said. Previously, she created grant programs, which impacted innovation and collaborative faculty research, he said.
Bazemore-Walker said she thought that through understanding students, one could understand the culture of the university. Despite this, her position does not focus on student life. Bazemore-Walker reports to Rankine, she said.
Bazemore-Walker’s training was in chemistry. She hopes to teach a course on campus, she said.
“I love working with students,” she said. “Students keep us grounded.”
The new position, assistant dean for diversity, thriving and inclusivity, was intended to help the university move forward with its goals, she said.
Bazemore-Walker said she viewed inclusivity as a celebration of all the things that make us different from each other.
“Not just overcoming [differences],” Bazemore-Walker said, “but in fact using them and building off of the differences that we have and the unique contributions we can all bring to the table, leveraging those to help make this community even better than it already is.”
Everyone on campus should feel not only as if they belong, but also as if they can be who they really are, she said.
“Dr. Bazemore-Walker is a deep-thinking, compassionate, and collaborative leader,” Rankine said. “We are proud to have her as part of community of learners.”
Contact news writer Victoria Davis at email@example.com.