President Thomas J. Haas has announced that Jeanne Arnold, the first person chosen as vice president for Inclusion and Equity at the university, is leaving after nearly seven years in the post.
Arnold began building a team that would go on to make tremendous strides at Grand Valley when she came to the university in January 2008. At the time, it was unusual for universities of Grand Valley’s size to put a diversity officer on the senior management team, but Haas believed that was an important step.
Arnold has accepted the position of chief diversity officer at Gettysburg College, a private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, in order to be closer to her family.
Haas said Arnold has had a positive impact on the climate and the culture at Grand Valley.
“Jeanne embedded the values of inclusion and equity into the university’s strategic plan,” Haas said. “She remained focused on students, faculty and staff members by having a place for their voices to be heard. She connected with the community, and positioned us for a bright future because of the way she developed the responsibilities of her division. We wish her well in her new position.”
Some of Arnold’s notable accomplishments are:
• Adding gender identity and expression to the university’s nondiscrimination statement
• Completing the first university-wide Inclusion Implementation Plan
• Implementing the Religious Inclusion Policy and the Disability Accommodation Policy
• Establishing a comprehensive diversity, inclusion and equity curriculum that has trained, to date, more than 3,000 faculty, staff, students
• Establishing the university’s first Native American Advisory Board
• Successfully completing Grand Valley’s fourth climate study, pushing key ideas forward
Arnold said it has been an amazing opportunity to serve as Grand Valley’s first vice president for Inclusion and Equity.
“The many successes we’ve had in this work would not have been possible without the unwavering support of so many faculty, staff and students,” Arnold said. “I have mixed emotions about leaving this special place, but after my father’s recent death, I feel the need to be closer to family.
“I will always be grateful to Grand Valley, President Haas and others who encouraged our important work on campus and in the community.”
Arnold’s last day at Grand Valley will be July 31. Haas has asked Dwight Hamilton, associate vice president for Affirmative Action, to fill the position on an interim basis while a search for a permanent replacement begins.