By Annalisa Purser, associate communications director, University Marketing & Communications
Nicole R. Robinson was recently named associate vice president for Equity and Diversity at the University of Utah. She has served as assistant vice president since fall 2016 and will work alongside Kathryn B. Stockton, who has been associate vice president for Equity and Diversity since 2014. Stockton also serves as dean of the recently formed School for Cultural and Social Transformation.
In her previous role, Robinson oversaw the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs, the American Indian Resource Center and the LGBT Resource Center and directly managed the Office for Equity and Diversity staff. In her new role, she will focus on faculty inclusion and retention efforts in collaboration with each college — an effort aimed at embedding transformation into all corners of the university.
“Dr. Robinson brings a profound wisdom to this position,” Stockton said. “She is uniquely skilled for this job and has a set of qualities that aren’t always found in one person. She has a tremendous scholarly background, is an incredible researcher, has a natural talent for administrative work and is a warm and generous person.”
In addition to her new responsibilities, Robinson continues to serve as a professor of music education in the U’s School of Music and as the current leadership fellow for Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Ruth Watkins, who will assume the role of university president on April 2. As a leadership fellow, Robinson works closely with Watkins to further develop leadership skills through practical application and experiential opportunities. For her leadership project, Robinson established the U Faculty Ambassador Think Tank to focus on using research-backed strategies to support sophomores during a traditionally difficult academic time and to promote student success.
Before assuming her new position, Robinson was the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Presidential Endowed Professor of Elementary Music Education in the School of Music. She has also held positions at three urban-serving research institutions — Syracuse University, University of Memphis and Virginia Commonwealth University. Robinson has earned national recognition for her outreach and partnership models aimed at creating sustainable, large-scale professional learning communities in urban K-12 school districts.
Robinson researches issues of access to quality music education for traditionally racialized and marginalized children, socio-cultural inequities in music education practices and programs and (re)conceptualized practices to support inclusive excellence among music educators. Robinson is regularly invited to speak about issues of equity and diversity and to present ideas for reforming educational practices to improve academic achievement for underserved children.