New VP for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


University of Utah President Ruth Watkins announced that Mary Ann Villarreal will join the university as the inaugural vice president for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Villarreal is currently associate vice president of strategic initiatives at California State University, Fullerton. She will assume her new role on July 1, 2019.

“Mary Ann has extensive experience in faculty and leadership roles and is known for her success in advancing a vision of social justice, equity and diversity in academic programs,” Watkins said. “Throughout her career, she has worked to advance student success through engagement, innovative program development and use of data to guide decisions.”

Villarreal will provide leadership to the Office for Equity and Diversity, with responsibility across the U’s academic and health sciences campuses for strategic diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The U established an associate vice president to oversee diverse academic programs in 1983; a year later that position was refocused to have broad responsibility for campus diversity efforts. The new appointment elevates the position and office as part of the president’s cabinet.

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