May 18, 2017—The regents of the University of Michigan have approved the selection of Fiona Lee, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and a professor of psychology, as the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts’ associate dean for diversity, equity, inclusion, and professional development. Her new role will begin on July 1, 2017.

“I am thrilled to welcome Professor Lee to this new and vital role within the College,” says LSA Dean Andrew D. Martin. “With her background and expertise, she is well poised to effectively support all LSA departments in achieving their DEI and professional development goals as we continue to make important progress in these areas.”

As part of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan released in October 2016, the College committed to pursuing a new associate dean position. In this role, Lee will provide leadership and accountability for the strategic plan, supporting LSA’s faculty chairs as they carry out the College’s DEI initiatives and generating new practices and responsibilities for training and oversight. As associate dean, Lee will help to ensure that DEI programs are developed in a timely manner, administered conscientiously, and evaluated regularly for their effectiveness.

“Last year when we were developing the LSA DEI plan, we heard from our community that the College needed to make a number of investments if we hoped to build capacity and expertise among our faculty to engage our increasingly diverse community, and to increase the proportion of our faculty who contribute to diversity teaching and scholarship,” says Elizabeth Cole, LSA’s associate dean of social sciences and a professor of women's studies, Afroamerican and African studies, and psychology. “These investments include concerted efforts to improve climate in the departments as well as sustained attention to providing skilled mentoring of junior faculty to tenure. The position of associate dean for DEI and professional development will play a key role in our work toward these goals, and Professor Fiona Lee brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the role.”

In her roles as psychology’s associate chair of faculty development and as associate chair of Student Academic Affairs, Lee has been closely involved in the recruitment, mentoring, promotion, and career development of minority faculty and students. She is also a steering committee member of Indigo, the LSA Asian and Asian American Faculty Alliance, working to promote career advancement, community, and outreach for Asian American faculty.

“To me, creating a climate of diversity, inclusion, and equity is not separate from our commitment to be a top-ranked university, but essential to it. To develop the best team, we must recruit, retain, support, and promote the top scholarly minds from near and far, rich and poor, national and international, urban and rural, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender,” says Lee. “I am delighted to join our existing team of DEI leaders and champions at UM, and continue our trajectory of excellence. I have benefited from U-M’s inclusive climate, and I am committed to making sure that others can thrive at Michigan, too.”