University of Virginia Diversity Chief to Talk about Racial Climate in Higher Education

January 27, 2006 — William B. Harvey, the University of Virginia's recently hired vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity, will speak about "Issues of Race at Predominantly White Institutions," on Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. in the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library Auditorium.

Harvey, in his first public address as U.Va.'s diversity chief, will offer a retrospective on the topic as a platform to think about where things stand and where progress needs to be made. After his remarks, there will be a question-and-answer period and a reception.

Creating the chief diversity officer position was the No. 1 recommendation of U.Va. President John T. Casteen III's Commission on Diversity and Equity, after the group conducted a study last year to examine the social and academic cultures at the University.

Harvey, who took his new post in November, was vice president of the Center for Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity at the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C., for five years. Prior to that, he served as 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 and African-American studies, among other subjects, at several colleges and universities. He also has held other positions in academic affairs, research administration and student affairs.

In addition, Harvey has written extensively on diversity issues. Most recently he co-authored ACE's "Twenty-First Annual Status Report on Minorities in Higher Education," and a chapter titled "Deans as Diversity Leaders" in Frank Hale's book, "What Makes Racial Diversity Work in Higher Education."

Harvey's Feb. 2 talk is presented by the University Library's Multicultural Issues Committee. Established in 1990, the committee is made up of library employees charged with planning multicultural programs, among other activities.