Diversity and Inclusion restructures, will add new positions

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion restructured at the beginning of the month to better suit the needs of the Pitt community, according to an @Pitt report.

The office, which began in 2015 with three employees, will move from a three-unit structure —the Office of Institutional Equity, the Title IX Office and the digital accessibility initiative — to two units: Inclusion and Access, and Civil Rights and Title IX.

In addition, a search is underway for an associate vice chancellor of Inclusion, a new position that will be in charge of Inclusion and Access.

Katie Pope also has moved from her position as Title IX coordinator to a new position as the associate vice chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX. With the restructuring, the scope of the investigations has expanded to include discrimination outside of sexual misconduct. Later, a civil rights investigator will join the team.

No positions will be lost with the restructure, Pam Connelly, vice chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, said in the article. Instead, new positions have been created.

“We thought deliberately and strategically on how to design the ODI functions to expand what has been successful, and at the same time, create a platform for greater inclusion, education and prevention efforts,” Connelly said. “We believe that this new structure will provide that opportunity.”

As a part of the restructuring, the Office of Disability Resources and Services will be a part of ODI, which would allow the office “to focus holistically on serving people on campus with disabilities, and that includes faculty and staff,” Connelly said.

ODI employees and Disability Resources employees will not relocate as part of the structure.

Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement Kathy Humphrey said this restructuring will put the office in a more strategic position to create an inclusive environment at Pitt.

“Creating a culture that is more inclusive and more diverse is our ultimate goal. And there is a real need for more proactive initiatives, services, connections and education across campus,” Humphrey said in the article. “With the restructuring, we’re better positioning ODI to have a greater impact at Pitt moving forward — allowing for more focused, proactive work.”

— Donovan Harrell