Originally Posted: November 23, 2020
Dear SMU Community,
When I accepted the position of SMU’s first Chief Diversity Officer, I remembered an essential piece of advice I received from someone who was in their third year in the same position: “One of the most dangerous misconceptions about diversity and inclusion work is that it can be done alone.”
I knew that if we were going to Move Forward Together, it would take a special group of colleagues to join me in this bold endeavor. With great excitement and a grateful heart, I announce the appointment of SMU’s inaugural class of Diversity Officers.
I am sure you will recognize many of the faces of our 15 officers. Each of them, working in various capacities across our campus, is known as a passionate professional and welcoming teammate. Many have had previous experience with diversity initiatives, and some were already serving SMU as diversity leaders in some capacity. Together, they will form the University Diversity Council that will work to ensure that our efforts are coordinated across campus.
Each officer will serve as counsel to the deans and administrators leading their respective areas, and will serve as a resource during the search and hiring process of new staff and faculty. Additionally, each officer will serve as the lead trainer for the CIQ@SMU curriculum for their appointed school and unit.
As we enter this season of thankfulness, I am thankful for the opportunity to work with this dedicated group of men and women to begin a new chapter on the Hilltop.
Dr. Maria Dixon Hall
Chief Diversity Officer and
Senior Advisor to the President for Cultural Intelligence