Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, associate professor of African American studies at UCI, has been appointed to the positions of equity advisor for UCI’s ADVANCE Program for Equity and Diversity, and advisor to the dean of the UCI School of Humanities on equity, diversity and inclusive excellence. Her term of appointment is July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023.

The role of equity advisor for UCI’s ADVANCE Program for Equity and Diversity is appointed by Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Douglas Haynes through the Office of Inclusive Excellence, which has established equity advisors in each school. This role is focused on faculty diversity and inclusion across campus. Meanwhile, the role of advisor to the dean of the UCI School of Humanities on equity, diversity and inclusive excellence is appointed by Dean Tyrus Miller. This role is a leadership position within the Dean’s Cabinet and focuses broadly on all aspects of equity, diversity and inclusive excellence within the School of Humanities.

“I am excited about the development of these roles and the dean's commitment to a strengthened focus on equity in the school,” said Willoughby-Herard. “Following this year, marked as it has been by increased mainstream visibility of anti-Black violence and resistances to it, the School of Humanities is reevaluating how best to serve our students and communities and creating a more equitable workplace and learning environment.”

“Our commitment to inclusive excellence is essential to our instructional, research and public missions at UCI and in the School of Humanities,” said Miller, dean of the UCI School of Humanities. “I am very grateful to Professor Willoughby-Herard for her willingness to take up this important leadership role.”

Willoughby-Herard is already working on a number of school-wide and campus-wide initiatives, including:

  • Launching the Inaugural Climate Council for the UCI School of Humanities, which will serve as a decision-making body for the school, addressing both challenges and opportunities for inclusive excellence.
  • Developing fellowships for scholars already engaging in diversity and inclusion efforts on campus both as researchers and practitioners.
  • Creating opportunities to advance postdoctoral students and early-career faculty through co-writing spaces.
  • Collaborating with the UCI Africana Institute for Creation, Recognition, and Elevation and the Department of Philosophy on a year-long series of guest lectures from philosophers from around the world in conversation with lecturers, graduate students, and faculty in the department.

In coordination with the School of Humanities, she completed UCI’s first major initiative with the NIH-supported Leadership Education to Advance Diversity–African, Black and Caribbean (LEAD-ABC), a UCI School of Medicine mission-based program aimed at producing future physicians who are committed to addressing the health needs of African, Black and Caribbean communities in California, the United States, and beyond. Together, they organized faculty in the Department of African American Studies, graduate students in the Culture & Theory Ph.D. Program, and faculty and students in Medical Humanities to present a daylong orientation in August for incoming UCI Medical School students.

Jos Charles, a Ph.D. student in English and author of feeld, a Pulitzer-finalist and winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series, has been appointed as a graduate student researcher (GSR) to support Willoughby-Herard’s efforts.

As an academic, Willoughby-Herard is an award-winning and widely published comparative political theorist. She is the author of Waste of a White Skin: The Carnegie Corporation and the Racial Logic of White Vulnerability (University of California Press, 2015), and has been the editor and/or editorial advisory board member of many scholarly academic journals. In addition to her new equity roles, her distinguished leadership includes being the vice president for the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and co-PI with UCI historian Jessica Millward on the prestigious three-year UC-Historically Black Colleges and Universities pathways grant.

To learn more about the campus-wide ADVANCE Program for Equity and Diversity, visit this webpage.