Unity College adds diversity, inclusion post

Apr 14, 2017

Unity — Unity College announced today that Dr. Rana Johnson will join its administration in the newly created position of chief diversity and inclusion officer. She begins at the college May 15.

Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury said he created the position "to make Unity College a diverse and inclusive leader among environmental institutions of higher education, and to maintain a friendly, constructive, inclusive culture across all Unity College constituencies.”

“It’s essential, as we prepare students for this environmental century, that we educate them in ways to engage a wide variety of cultural viewpoints and personal backgrounds,” he said. “More than just ethnicity or class or political perspective, we need to prepare the next generation of sustainability leaders with the tools to engage a changing world."

Khoury praised Johnson’s “depth of experience in diversity and inclusion administration, policy, training, research and student engagement," saying she is "the perfect choice for this important new position that affects every student, faculty and staff member at Unity College.”

Johnson comes to Unity College from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education where she served as senior associate for diversity outreach and special programs. Her primary responsibilities included guiding efforts to increase access, retention, and the success of students who have been historically underrepresented in undergraduate and graduate education.

She also assisted with the development of a partnership agreement with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, as well as the management of the Kentucky Plan for Equal Opportunities in Postsecondary Education.

A graduate of Spalding University, Johnson earned a Master's Degree from Eastern New Mexico University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. Her dissertation research focused on adaptation strategies to retain and graduate diverse students from traditionally white institutions.

“In my work I use a strategist’s perspective to promote positive outcomes that improve the campus climate, as well as the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body and workforce,” Johnson said. “I see Unity College as an incredible opportunity to dig deep into a culture that is already doing a lot of things right and has clearly made inclusivity a priority for their community."


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