Two major staffing changes in the Office of International Education, Diversity and Inclusion (OIEDI) were announced in the past week. One key member of UP’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts is leaving while another is being promoted to a new position.
In an email sent on March 13, Associate Provost for International Education, Diversity and Inclusion, Eduardo Contreras, named Tshombé Brown as the new director of diversity, equity and inclusion.
On March 14, another email sent by the Office of Public Affairs, announced Contreras would be departing UP at the end of the academic year to accept a position as vice provost for global engagement at Baylor University.
After months of a national search process for the new director of diversity, equity and inclusion position, Brown's designation was highly recommended by Contreras.
Since December 2021, Brown served as hall director for Schoenfeldt hall while participating actively in the UP community and Diversity and Inclusion Program events. Before this, Brown served as the Moreau Center program manager of community partnerships for four and a half years.
The OIEDI office has been preparing for this role since the beginning of the year with a new office space waiting in the Diversity Center since its grand opening in November. The position was approved April 2022 following demands for more representation and funding in diversity, equity and inclusion work.
Adding to the numerous changes in the OIEDI office, this signals another step in the right direction after the DEIJ Report made by Elizabeth Ortiz drew attention to concerns about UP’s inclusivity.
“I am thrilled to soon begin serving in this role, a historic first for all of us, which affirms the DEIJ work we are already doing,” Brown said in the email. “Now is our time to amplify and double down on who we are at UP, and to leverage this platform to both strengthen existing efforts and to enhance, deepen, and expand DEIJ in new and exciting ways.”
Contreras has been with UP since 2015, serving as director of studies abroad for three years, assistant provost for three and associate provost since 2021. His presence in the OIEDI office has been integral to UP’s diversity, equity and inclusion work.
Since the report by Ortiz, Contreras has led efforts to make UP a more inclusive community.
“UP has been a home away from home for the past several years,” Contreras said in the email. “I am ever grateful to have met so many extraordinary people while on The Bluff, and to have been a part of this beloved community.”
The email states that plans to fill his position will be shared in the coming weeks.
Chiara Profenna is the DEI editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.