uinnipiac is pleased to announce that Don C. Sawyer III, PhD, has been promoted to vice president of equity and inclusion, effective immediately. For the past year, Sawyer has served as associate vice president for academic affairs and chief diversity officer.
Sawyer is a 20-year veteran of higher education, having served as a faculty member in sociology, and in administrative roles in residential life, admissions, fraternity and sorority affairs, student activities, experiential learning, student leadership and STEM retention.
In his faculty role, Sawyer’s research interests blend critical race theory with the education of marginalized groups, prisoner reentry, hip-hop culture, international program development and youth literacy. Among other courses, he has taught Sociology of Race, Social Research Methods, and Sociology of Hip-Hop Culture.
Sawyer’s work as vice president for equity and inclusion is critical to realization of the strategic plan for the University of The Future, and specifically related to the second pillar advancing inclusive excellence.
Don has identified the following priorities in his expanded role:
- A series of critical conversations to engage the community with a broad range of opinion leaders.
- An expanded, intergroup dialogue series across all campuses for intentional conversations on important and current topics.
- A comprehensive training curriculum for faculty, staff and students (both online and on-campus) focused on topics related to equity and inclusion.
- An online resource site focused on recruitment, retention and teaching strategies related to equity and inclusion.
- A summer bridge program for a diverse community of entering QU students to facilitate the transition to college, and to enhance our retention efforts.
- Deeper relationships with local high school students to engage them from an early point with the university and ensure that individuals of all backgrounds consider QU for college.
- An inclusive excellence action team of faculty, staff and students to respond actively when difficult situations arise.