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Cal Poly names new Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

Posted at 11:39 AM, Jul 01, 2020

Cal Poly has named a new Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion.

Paulette Granberry Russell is the current president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) and has been the director of Michigan State University's Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives since 1998.

Granberry Russell will start at Cal Poly on August 31 and will oversee the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion (OUDI). OUDI works to improve the Cal Poly campus climate and attract a more diverse student body and workforce.

Granberry Russell was elected president of NADOHE in March. She is the first woman to serve as the group's president.

NADOHE includes more than 300 public and private colleges and universities and represents about 1,000 senior campus diversity leaders across the country.

“A desire to improve and a willingness to do the hard work are necessary in order to make progress on diversity, equity and inclusion — and I see both at Cal Poly,” said Granberry Russell. “I am thrilled to join a university that is making tangible strides — and that knows it still has a tremendous amount of work still to do. I am excited to see where we can go when we keep working together as a community.”

Granberry Russell previously worked as a labor relations specialist with the Michigan Office of the State Employer and Michigan State Employees Association. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science/public administration from MSU and her juris doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Granberry Russell is also a licensed attorney in the state of Michigan.

Granberry Russell will succeed Jozi De Leon, who retired in June after serving as Cal Poly's first Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion.

Denise Isom, chair of Cal Poly's Ethnic Studies Department, will lead OUDI temporarily until Granberry Russell assumes her role at the end of August.