Eastern Michigan University announces new senior-level leadership position, Chief Diversity Officer

Dr. Doris Fields named interim chief diversity officer while national search is launched

EMU campus sign with University seal

YPSILANTI --  Eastern Michigan University President James Smith today (Feb. 17) announced the creation of the chief diversity officer position for the University. The announcement was made at the University’s regularly scheduled Board of Regents meeting. 

Doris Fields
Dr. Doris Fields

The chief diversity officer position will report to President Smith with a dotted-line report to Dr. Rhonda Longworth, the University’s provost and executive vice president of Academic and Student Affairs. The position will be part of the University’s senior leadership team.

Dr. Doris Fields has been named interim chief diversity officer while the University conducts a national search for a permanent position. Professor Fields currently serves as the University’s assistant vice president of Academic Programs and Initiatives and is a tenured professor in the School of Communication, Media, and Theatre Arts. Her areas of specialization include interracial and interethnic communication, and intercultural communication.

“As one of the most diverse public universities in Michigan, this is a vital role that further reinforces the University’s historic support of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures,” said President Smith. “We embrace our rich heritage as an institution of opportunity and the important role we play in the social mobility of our students.

“Professor Fields brings a wealth of experience to this role, including more than 20 years of exceptional service to the University. We are grateful to her for serving in this important role.”

The President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion recommended the creation of a chief diversity officer position. The Commission was launched in 2018 and charged with providing policy recommendations to the President to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion on EMU’s campus. 

The chief diversity officer’s responsibilities will include, among other tasks, developing and implementing the University’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan in alignment with the University’s Strategic Plan and leading the Office of Diversity and Community Involvement. 

"I began my academic journey at EMU as a freshman in 1986,” said Interim Chief Diversity Officer Doris Fields. “Since then, I have been a graduate student, part-time instructor, faculty member, and administrator at EMU. To continue my work as the interim chief diversity officer is an honor. I am looking forward to serving in this capacity and developing policy recommendations to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion across the campus community."

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

February 17, 2022

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher