Elizabeth R. Cole, professor of psychology and of women’s and gender studies in LSA, will become director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity at U-M effective July 1.

Cole was previously a faculty director of the center, and will succeed Tabbye Chavous, who on Aug. 1 will become U-M’s chief diversity officer and vice provost for equity and inclusion.

“Liz brings deep expertise and administrative experience to the NCID directorship,” said LSA Dean Anne Curzan. “I am excited for the important work we will be undertaking together. NCID is a key unit in the college and on campus, given the diversity research and scholarship that it houses, promotes, and shares with our community.”

The NCID supports, catalyzes and elevates diversity scholarship at U-M and nationwide, engaging scholars and practitioners via research funding, fellowships, awards, panel discussions, publications and intergenerational scholarly communities.

Most recently, NCID received a Gates Foundation grant to build awareness and understanding of the challenges in developing leaders in education who center social justice outcomes and then suggest evidence-based approaches, tools, techniques and processes to build leadership capacity.

Cole is a noted scholar with expertise in the application of intersectionality theory to research in psychology, women’s activism and diverse women’s perceptions of body image and sexuality.

She has been an advocate for DEI on the national stage and served as president of the Society for the Study of Social Issues, one of the American Psychological Association’s primary organizations for addressing issues of social justice.

Cole was a 2018 recipient of U-M’s Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award, which recognizes U-M faculty whose service goes above and beyond their regular duties and contributes to the development of a culturally and ethnically diverse campus community.

Cole brings to NCID a wealth of administrative and leadership experience and expertise, including serving as chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, director of the U.S. site of the Global Feminisms Project, associate dean for social sciences, and interim dean of LSA. Most recently she was associate chair of diversity initiatives in the Department of Psychology.

“I am thrilled to lead NCID at this exciting time as the campus begins the DEI 2.0 planning process. NCID has played a key role in LSA and U-M’s DEI plan, and looks forward to continuing our work to support institutional transformation locally and nationally,” Cole said.


Originally published in the University Record.