Chief Strategy Office Charlene Alexander announced in a press release that, effective Sept. 19, Rashida Willard will join Ball State as the associate vice of inclusive excellence.
Willard has more than 20 years of experience in risk mitigation and will be providing strategic leadership for Ball State's Office of Inclusive Excellence. The department focuses on "dedicated to the recruitment, retention and celebration of dicerse faculty, staff and students who possess a variety of worldviews, identities and experiences."
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Willard, whose compassion and enthusiasm make her an excellent fit to lead our Office of Inclusive Excellence,” Dr. Alexander said. “Inclusiveness is one of the enduring values that guide our University to a bright future, and with Dr. Willard’s leadership, we will continue the hard work necessary to overcome barriers in diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to nurture a community that respects all people.
Throughout her career, Dr. Willard has developed and led initiatives that help promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. In past positions, she identified and launched programs for new employees of color, developed strategies to retain qualified employees, and worked to create an effective networking channel strategically aligned to the organization’s diversity and inclusion goals.
In her position as director of operations & risk management at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, Willard provided strategical plans for the college's equity and social justice objectives and created new initiatives, policies and procedures to " foster a more inclusive, welcoming, supportive and diverse college community."
“I am grateful for the opportunity to support Ball State’s inclusive excellence initiatives and to continue being an advocate for historically underserved populations,” Dr. Willard said. “I have always prided myself on being a passionate champion in fostering a culture of respect and inclusion for all, and I am inspired by Ball State’s recognition of inclusive excellence as an integral endeavor to fulfill the University’s mission and strategic plan.”
Alexander also thanked Melinda Messineo, a professor of sociology, for serving as interim associate vice president for inclusive excellence.