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LSA Hires First Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

Latisha Cunningham has been named the first diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) officer for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. In this newly created role, Cunningham will work to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are integral to LSA’s hiring and retention processes.

“There has already been a lot of great work done in LSA around compliance and diversity goals,” says Cunningham. “I am thrilled to be a part of this going forward, and to synthesize LSA’s diversity, equity and inclusion plan with the overall U-M Strategic Plan for Diversity.”

As the DEI officer, Cunningham will create DEI-related professional development programming, as well as develop and manage recruitment sources in efforts to diversify candidate pools for staff positions. She will also use metrics to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of diversity-related programs, and promote other DEI related activities on and off campus that are open to staff. The creation of this position reflects LSA’s commitment to the importance of enhancing diversity at every level of the College.

“Unconscious bias impacts a lot of what we do and how we interact with the world,” says Cunningham. “My goal is to present information in such a way that people don’t feel attacked, but are instead motivated to look introspectively and apply the information they discover.”

Cunningham was previously employed at the University’s Office for Institutional Equity, where she provided services for faculty, staff, students, and management to support diversity, inclusiveness, equal access, and equitable treatment. She received her master’s in human resources and organizational development at Eastern Michigan University in 2011.

Cunningham will begin her new role on July 5, 2016.