Evelynn Ellis Appointed VP for Institutional Diversity and Equity


Evelynn Ellis has been appointed to lead Dartmouth’s diversity and equity efforts. (photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

Provost Carol Folt has announced the appointment of Evelynn Ellis as Dartmouth’s Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity (IDE). Ellis, who has been at Dartmouth since 2008 as Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, assumed her new role this month.

“Creating a diverse and welcoming campus community is critical to Dartmouth’s educational mission,” says President Jim Yong Kim. “We have made significant progress, but Dartmouth’s commitment to diversity must also be a commitment to continually improve. I am delighted to have Evelynn’s leadership in this ongoing effort.”

As Vice President for IDE, Ellis is responsible for leading Dartmouth’s diversity and equity efforts, including recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce and compliance with state and federal Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity requirements. The Vice President provides support to the student-focused Office of Pluralism and Leadership and serves as a resource for the entire campus.

“Building and supporting the diverse and dynamic community that is Dartmouth is a collective effort. Evelynn has a wonderful ability to build trust and inspire others around issues of diversity,” says Provost Carol Folt. “We have the opportunity to do more and are so pleased that Dartmouth will continue to benefit from Evelynn’s expertise and passion for the work.”

“What matters most to me is how our work impacts our students and their interactions with faculty and staff,” says Ellis. “Compliance is certainly important, but we also need recruitment and retention to build a faculty and staff population that reflects the beautiful diversity of the student body.

“Dartmouth is in a wonderful position to be a leader in diversity,” she continues. “We’re a perfect size and have a lot of people who believe in equity. Our challenge is to maintain focus on creating the time and support for people to commit themselves to the effort.”

A native of Sawyerville, Ala., Ellis came to Dartmouth from The Pennsylvania State University where she was Senior Director of the Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs. Previously, she worked at the university since 1985 in a variety of positions of increasing responsibility focused on equity and outreach. Her work to develop recruitment and retention strategies, increase faculty participation in diversity efforts, and recruit graduate students from underrepresented groups into academic positions has been supported by the National Science Foundation through the Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate. Ellis serves on the reader board of Higher Education in Review and has presented regularly at national conferences.

Ellis, who is also a classically trained clarinetist and performs at Dartmouth, draws professional lessons from the discipline of music. “One thing musicians learn early on is how to take a piece and look at the whole thing,” she says. “You need to know it from beginning to end. Then, we learn to identify the difficult parts and get to work on them right away. After that we start bridging things together. The process takes determination, focus, and dedication. And that’s what good administrators do.”

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