STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State administrator Tommy J. Stevenson is taking on an expanded role as the university's new chief diversity officer and director of the recently renamed Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.
The new administrative unit previously was called the Office of Diversity and Equity Programs.
As a member of the MSU President's Cabinet, Stevenson will advise the university's president and provost/executive vice president on diversity issues, one of his numerous responsibilities associated with opportunity and inclusion on campus.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum said, "As the most diverse of the nation's original land-grant universities and the most diverse institution in the Southeastern Conference, meaningful diversity and inclusion are bedrock values of Mississippi State University. We believe a more comprehensive approach to embracing those longtime values is needed, and we believe this new organizational structure will facilitate the appropriate results."
MSU Provost Jerry Gilbert agreed. "The refining of MSU's diversity efforts reflects the importance placed on making diversity and inclusion an even stronger part of our university's culture. As the university's chief diversity officer, Dr. Stevenson has demonstrated the kind of commitment to those values that is necessary for MSU to continue to lead by example in diversity and inclusion."
Among Stevenson's other duties are the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students from diverse and under-represented population groups, enhancement of partnerships with communities to promote diversity as an essential element of the university mission, and development and implementation of a university-wide diversity strategic plan.
Stevenson holds a doctoral degree in higher education administration from Bowling Green (Ohio) State University. He received a bachelor's degree in industrial technology and a master's in education administration, both from MSU.
In coordinating all campus diversity activities, he will chair a campus-wide diversity council. He also will serve as principal liaison between the university and minority organizations, women's groups, and community action teams.
"I appreciate the confidence shown in me by the MSU administration as the university redoubles its commitment to a comprehensive, proactive program of diversity and inclusion across the length and breadth of the university," said Stevenson. "With the help of the new University Diversity Council, I'm excited about the new opportunities for growth and success that this new structure will provide."
A Brooksville native, Stevenson served for more than two years as assistant dean for diversity and student development in the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering. Previously, he was an admissions counselor in the Division of Student Affairs.
In 2010, Stevenson was honored as a "National Role Model" by Minority Access Inc., a non-profit educational organization that supports individuals, academic institutions, and federal, state and local government agencies and corporations.