Last month, I shared with mixed emotions that Dr. Katrina Rodriguez, Vice President for Student Affairs, will be leaving UNC after 22 years of service. I am extremely grateful for Katrina’s numerous contributions to the university and know she will be missed dearly. Katrina’s last day at UNC is Thursday, May 20.
With Katrina’s departure coming soon, I would like to announce that Dr. Tobias Guzmán, Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, will serve as Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, effective May 21. A search committee for the Vice President for Student Affairs position has been formed (members listed below) and will convene over the coming months to review applications. We will be conducting a national search for this position and look forward to having opportunities for members of the university community to share their feedback. Candidates who are selected as finalists for the position will visit campus, likely sometime later this summer or toward the beginning of the fall semester. Additional details will be shared later this summer when they are available.
Vice President for Student Affairs Search Committee
Dan Maxey, Chair
Enrique Benavidez, Undergraduate Student Representative
Devon Bortfeld, Graduate Student Representative
Heather Helm, Faculty Representative
Tara Wood, Faculty Representative
Jenna Finley, Staff Representative, Student Affairs
Nickie Archibeque, Staff Representative, Student Affairs
Morgan Diaz, Staff Representative, Student Affairs
Shawanna Kimbrough-Hayward, Staff Representative
In addition to Tobias assuming the Interim VPSA role beginning later this month, I am pleased to announce that the Chief Diversity Officer role Tobias has held will be elevated to a vice president-level position, effective at the conclusion of the VPSA search. Elevating the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion has been a priority of mine since I became President. That has been reflected in many ways throughout the university, including larger, more visible impacts such as the creation of the Chief Diversity Officer position and adding it to Cabinet, creating the Faculty and Staff of Color Networks, and embedding DEI throughout Rowing, Not Drifting 2030. In order for UNC to truly prioritize DEI and make important strides that are reflected in the inclusivity of our campus community, it is essential that a Vice President position leading this critical work is created.
Tobias has been an outstanding leader during his long tenure at UNC and has been a vital part of progressing our work to honor our commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Tobias is a UNC graduate—a Bear through and through. He first joined the university staff as Assistant Director of Residence Education and Student Conduct in 2000 and has since served in numerous leadership positions, including Director of Housing and Residence Life (2004-2007), Executive Director of Auxiliary and Student Services (2007-2008), Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Access (2008-2018), and Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs (2018-present). As Chief Diversity Officer, Tobias has provided leadership in the development and creation of policies, programs, and practices fundamental to the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Tobias has been an invaluable member of my Cabinet as Chief Diversity Officer and will thrive in this elevated role. As Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Tobias will inform and implement the university’s strategy, processes, and infrastructure related to building a campus culture that inspires, respects, and creates systemic, positive change for diversity, equity, and inclusion. With this change, UNC’s cultural and resource centers will also become part of the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
While Tobias had been also overseeing housing and residence life, dining services, and campus recreation, in addition to serving as Chief Diversity Officer, he will now be able to focus full-time on long-term DEI planning and implementation, including working with each of the academic and administrative units in overseeing strategic DEI commitments. This work is critical to the success of our students, faculty, staff, and community. Tobias has been fantastic as Chief Diversity Officer and he will continue to be an excellent leader as Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Rowing, Not Drifting,