Vice President for Institute Diversity Named

Following a national search, President G. P. “Bud” Peterson has announced the appointment of Archie Ervin as Georgia Tech’s inaugural vice president for Institute Diversity. He will start January 1, 2011.

Ervin, who has served as the associate provost for diversity and multicultural affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 2005, will be charged with oversight of all diversity-related matters at Georgia Tech, providing leadership to formulate goals and strategies in support of the Institute’s strategic plan. The position reports directly to the president and sits on the president's cabinet.

“Dr. Ervin has dedicated his professional career to the advancement of diverse and inclusive communities,” Peterson said. “He is a welcome addition to Georgia Tech as we unify and focus our own diversity programs. I am looking forward to working with him to achieve the goals outlined in our strategic vision.”

In a public address on campus last month, Ervin outlined the responsibilities for the job: to provide dedicated leadership to the diversity mission and functions of the university; to elevate the visibility and establish the credibility of those functions; and to ensure the diversity goals and priorities of the institution are at every level of governance within the university structure. To be effective, he recommends the approach of a servant leader.

“Coordinate does not mean control,” he said. “There are capable people at every institution who have the talent, expertise and commitment to make valuable contributions to the diversity enterprise. My role will be to enhance the abilities of those around us because they are the ones who make things happen.”

Creating a culture of inclusiveness, he added, is a continuous process that must be embedded in the fabric of the institution. It is, in his mind, a strategic choice.

“If you want to be an excellent institution, then you must have the talent of the world at your doorstep,” he said. “Our challenge is to create a community of scholars and learners who feel valued, respected and welcomed.”

Search committee chair and Dean of Libraries Catherine Murray-Rust said, “This is an important position for Georgia Tech at a crucial time. My colleagues on the search committee and I are very excited to have found someone with the experience and enthusiasm of Dr. Ervin. He has a breadth and depth of understanding of diversity in all its forms and experience working with faculty, staff and students. He will be an excellent fit for our unique institution.”

Ervin earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from Appalachian State University, and his doctorate in educational organizations and policy studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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