U. announces appointment of Graduate School associate dean for diversity and inclusion| Apr 21, 2015
The University announced its appointment of Dale Trevino as the Graduate School's associate dean for diversity and inclusion last Friday.
Trevino will take office on July 1.
According to University Spokesperson Martin Mbugua, Trevino currently serves as the director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Prior to taking office at Harvard, Trevino directed the Center for Multicultural Affairs at the University of Colorado at Boulder for eight years.
Mbugua deferred further comment to the University's press release.Trevino did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Angelina Sylvain GS, a member of the Women in STEM Leadership Council who participated in the student committee that met and interviewed the three final candidates, stated that although all candidates were very qualified, Trevino’s extensive experience with inclusivity puts him in the best position to assume the office.
“It was very clear that he was prepared for the job and could take student feedback seriously and actually fight for students,” Sylvain said.
Sylvain noted that the University solicited input from students representing a wide array of cultures and backgrounds, including the Graduate Student Government, Black Graduate Caucus, Graduate Black Women Caucus, the Latin American Student Council and Women in STEM Leadership Council.
Vladimir Medenica GS, another participant in the selection process and president of the Latino Graduate Student Association, said the appointment was a good one given the campus climate.
“Princeton, as an institution, has a long way to go on these issues and the University seems to recognize that," Medenica said. "I think that bringing somebody onboard who has spent their career working in this area is a smart decision."
Around 130 individuals applied for the position, Medenica added.
The position of the associate dean for diversity and inclusion was re-established last November in response to complaints from students, faculty and trustees. Prior to the decision, University administrators were planning to divide up the responsibilities of the office to the associate deans of academic affairs and of student life in the Graduate School.
An October guest columnin The Daily Princetonian by three graduate students criticized the decision to eliminate the position.
The re-established position is crucial to promoting diversity on campus and protecting the minority identities, Sylvain said.
“I can imagine that working in this office is probably one of the hardest jobs an administrator can have because you are fighting for something that has yet to be achieved on campus: the inclusion of non-white, non-straight, non-males on campus,” Sylvain said.
Eliminating the position would have been a step backward for the University, Medenica said.
“[It would have been] an action that threatened to significantly undermine the University’s purported commitment to diversity,” Medenica said.
In anticipation of the beginning of Trevino’s term, Medenica expressed that the associate dean appointee should create more open lines of communication. In addition, he hopes to see more structural changes “that goes beyond the stale rhetoric and lack of substantive action.”
“Students from marginalized backgrounds want to have a graduate experience that is equivalent to their peers, and most graduate students would like a better graduate experience,” Medenica said.
Trevino must address issues of transparency and accountability during his term, Sylvain said, adding that she believedboth of these qualities are minimally visible in the current administration.
“My observation is that if there are clear climate problems in particular departments, nothing seems to get done about it," Sylvain said. "There’s no training, no discussion. It is an extremely hostile environment for people who don’t conform."
The Women in STEM Leadership Council recently solicited comments from graduate women in STEM and plan to submit a report of findings to the Provost’s office, Sylvain said.