Diversity Expert William Harvey to Speak at U.Va.’s Fall Convocation on Oct. 20, Kicking Off Family Weekend Activities

Oct. 13, 2006 -- William B. Harvey, a nationally recognized expert on diversity in higher education and the University of Virginia’s first vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity, will be the keynote speaker at the 2006 Fall Convocation ceremony, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. in University Hall. Harvey will discuss, “Figuring Out How the World Works: What I Learned From the Soap Operas.” 

Since his arrival to the University last November, Harvey has initiated the U.Va. Symposium on Race and Society, the Diversity Council and the Community Relations Advisory Group. He has also partnered with the Curry School of Education to launch the Walter N. Ridley Distinguished Speaker Series. “I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate my first anniversary as a member of the University community than being presented with this extraordinary opportunity to address my new friends and colleagues in the Fall Convocation,” Harvey said. 

Fall Convocation, which officially opens U.Va.’s Family Weekend, recognizes undergraduate students for their academic excellence. Intermediate honors will be presented to the top 20 percent of students who earned at least 60 credits of course work at U.Va. during their first two years.

At Convocation, U.Va. President John T. Casteen III will announce the recipient of this year’s Thomas Jefferson Award, U.Va.’s highest honor, given annually since 1955. The award recognizes a member of the University community who has exemplified in character, work and influence, the principles and ideals of the University’s founder.
Before taking his position at U.Va., Harvey served for five years as vice president of the Center for Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity at the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he was dean of the School of Education and deputy chancellor for educational partnerships at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Harvey's career in higher education spans over 35 years and crisscrosses academic and administration positions. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in education, anthropology and African-American studies, among other subjects, and has held positions in academic affairs, research administration and student affairs.

The focus of his research and scholarly activity has been on the cultural and social factors that affect underserved populations, with particular emphasis on college and university settings. In addition to editing the highly acclaimed ACE Annual Status Report on Minorities in Higher Education, his extensive list of publications includes books, book chapters, journal articles and professional and technical reviews. He serves as an executive editor of the Negro Educational Review, a consulting editor of Change: The Magazine for Higher Learning, and an editorial board member of Multicultural Learning and Teaching. He has been a visiting associate at the Smithsonian Institution, an ACE Fellow, an Institute for Educational Leadership Fellow, a Summer Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and has participated in two National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminars.
Harvey received his bachelor's degree in English from West Chester University and his master's in social and philosophical foundations of education and his doctorate in anthropology of education from Rutgers University. In addition to serving as chair of the Education Advisory Board of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, he is also a member of the advisory boards for the Study of New Scholars project at Harvard University, the Yale-Howard Partnership Center on Reducing Health Disparities, the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Program at Princeton University and Project Site Support at Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the board of directors at Capella University and the board of visitors of the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh.

For more information on Fall Convocation, visit www.virginia.edu/majorevents/convocation.html or contact Pam Higgins, director of the Office of Major Events, at (434) 982-3099 or apw6h@virginia.edu.

For more information on Harvey, contact his assistant, Daisy L. Lovelace, at (434) 243-2185 or DaisyL@virginia.edu.