Cheryl Nuñez named Vice President for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity
Cheryl Nuñez, a leading expert in diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education, has been named vice president for equity, inclusion, and diversity at The College of Wooster. She begins her new role on March 14.
Nuñez brings more than 24 years of experience working in leadership roles to advance antiracism and build inclusion and community engagement. She is currently vice president for equity and inclusion at Olympic College, a community college serving approximately 8,500 students across three campuses in Western Washington. As the inaugural vice president in this role, she developed the office of Equity and Inclusion and built numerous initiatives to support students, staff and faculty, as well as to advise the board of trustees, and received commendation from the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities for her excellent leadership. She has also held leadership roles in diversity, equity, and inclusion at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, Cincinnati Public Schools, and the American Jewish Committee in Cincinnati.
“We are fortunate and delighted that Vice President Nuñez will be joining us to advance equity, inclusion and diversity at Wooster,” said Sarah Bolton, president of The College of Wooster. “From a strong pool of national leaders, Vice President Nuñez stood out for the creativity, experience, dedication, and blend of scholarly frameworks and effective actions that she brings to her work. We are very much looking forward to collaborating with such a terrific leader on the crucial priorities of inclusive excellence.”
As a member of the president’s cabinet and the college’s senior leadership team, Nuñez will work to build and enact a vision for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community at Wooster. In this role, she will serve as a visible campus and community leader, leading initiatives and efforts across campus and building on significant commitments and resources such as the College’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, long-standing commitment to the POSSE program, Perry-Williams post-doctoral fellow program in partnership with the Consortium for Faculty Diversity, as well as the Board of Trustees’ focus on racial equity. Nuñez will lead the Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity and the final stages in the implementation of the 2017 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, and will work with campus constituents to develop new strategic goals and actions, enhance programs, and deepen connections between the City of Wooster and the campus.
“I am honored and excited to join The College of Wooster to help sustain and advance progress towards its equity, inclusion, and diversity goals,” said Nuñez. “During the interview process, I was moved by the resoluteness of the students, staff, faculty, and trustees who have been leading that urgent work. I look forward to collaborating with them to further enrich campus diversity and ensure that all members of the campus community can thrive.”
During her career, Nuñez has been instrumental in leading diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across all dimensions of organizations. Her many achievements include leading the process for campus-wide DEI strategy development, designing and leading strategic workforce diversity and inclusion training efforts, delivering DEI and antiracism education for all constituencies, leading workshops on curriculum redesign and integrative pedagogical strategies, implementing Bias Response Protocols and tracking and reporting tools such as an Equity Scorecard , launching an institutional diversity supplier program, and organizing forums, dialogues, public lecture series and conferences featuring high-profile scholars and activists to build community-wide capacity for DEI. She also has played key roles in institutional academic outcomes and persistence initiatives for BIPOC students, including developing Black studies and social justice first-year learning communities, and advising multicultural and disability rights student organizations.
Nuñez contributed to a chapter on “Dialogic Learning in the Time of a Global Pandemic and Beyond” along with fellow educators in a new book titled, Global perspectives on dialogue in the classroom: Cultivating inclusive, authentic, and intersectional conversations, edited by Ashmi Desai and Hoa N. Nguyen. In her section, “Fostering student voice and dialogic agency in the virtual environment,” she discusses ways to apply virtual intergroup dialogue to mobilize student leader voices for institutional change.
She is certified in Title IX and Civil Rights investigation procedures, complaint processing, counseling, and resolution, as well as Affirmative Action law and plan development. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University and a master’s degree in Educational Foundations from University of Cincinnati.
Nuñez was selected following a national search led by a search committee comprised of students, staff, faculty, and trustees. She succeeds Dr. Ivonne García, who left the College in 2021 to serve as senior instructional coach for anti-racist pedagogy at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Since August, Associate Professor of English Leslie Wingard has served as Wooster’s interim chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer for academic affairs, Sháqūez Dickens has led Wooster’s diversity, equity and inclusion work with staff as Interim Associate Director of the Office Equity, Inclusion and Diversity for Staff , and Kayla Campbell, Interim Associate Director of the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity for Students , has collaborated with the staff of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in supporting students.