Martin, a former chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the U.Va. Health System, has served as interim vice president since July 2009. During his tenure, Martin has expanded the work of the office and introduced a number of innovations that promote diversity – in its broadest definition – at the University, Sullivan said.
"Dr. Martin has provided steady leadership and creativity for the University in all areas of diversity and equity and has expanded the dialogue to include all students, staff and faculty in an effort to create a more welcoming community," she added. "He has been a champion for building an inclusive and respectful culture."
Sullivan credited Martin and his staff for spearheading this year's successful Martin Luther King Day celebrations. When she asked him to come up with a plan to honor King, she said, she had no idea that he would pull together experts from across Grounds and around the country for a round of events that would span 11 days.
Other recent initiatives include:
• An annual spring diversity conference, which last year was titled "Media, Democracy and Diversity";
• The John T. Casteen III Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Award; and
• The U.Va. IDEA Fund to raise funds to support programs related to inclusion, diversity, equity and access.
Martin, who will report to Sullivan, said that he is humbled by the promotion. "I look forward to the challenges ahead because I know there are many good people at the University and in the community who embrace diversity and who will continue to support and promote the inclusive, welcoming and respectful environment that we value here."
In 1996, Martin joined the University's Medical Center as the first African-American to head one of its clinical departments.
"My 15 years at U.Va. have been filled with opportunities to serve through patient care, teaching, mentoring, research, administration and community service. It has been my great fortune to have such a professionally fulfilling career," Martin said. He added that he and his family are blessed to have this new opportunity to continue to serve the University.
Martin has been involved in some aspect of diversity and community service for much of his career. He has helped organize community health fairs in several central Virginia locations, including the city of Charlottesville. Since arriving in 1996, he has served as clinical director or as a faculty member in the summer program for underrepresented pre-med students. He also chaired the Health Systems Diversity Council, and was an inaugural member of the Women's Leadership Council and continues to be an active member.
Martin is the principal investigator of the National Science Foundation-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation/Virginia-North Carolina Alliance, which consists of four research universities in Virginia and four historically black colleges and universities in North Carolina. Minority students receiving science, technology and math degrees have increased by 20 percent since inception of the alliance in 2007.
With a team of U.Va. health care providers, Martin traveled to Louisiana in September 2005 and February 2006 to serve the disadvantaged populations through medical relief efforts after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2007, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine appointed Martin to serve as vice chairman of the Virginia Tech Review Panel.
Before joining the University, he was director of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh from 1984 to 1995. He also has served as acting chairman of the Emergency Medicine Department at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University in Pittsburgh.
He was a member of the 1976 charter class of Eastern Virginia Medical School and was its first African-American graduate. This spring, he will give the commencement address at his alma mater.