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Memorandum March 19, 2018

AU Community
Sylvia M. Burwell, President
Leadership on the Plan for Inclusive Excellence

When we launched our Plan for Inclusive Excellence in late January, we received feedback related to the importance of accountability for progress. With responsibility for the plan distributed among our vice presidents, provost, and deans, some expressed concern that accountability might be too diffuse, and therefore the impact might not match our hopes, ambitions, and serious investments.

We heard your feedback and we are committed to learning and adjusting as we execute the plan. As part of that commitment, Dr. Fanta Aw's title will change to Vice President of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence—to more accurately reflect the addition of important responsibilities to her existing portfolio of leadership in Campus Life. As she already serves as a member of the President's Cabinet, she will report directly to me on diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities and advise me and other university leaders on these matters.

With this appointment, Dr. Aw will lead, coordinate, monitor, and assess our institutional work related to AU's Plan for Inclusive Excellence by working collaboratively with the vice presidents, provost, and deans to ensure goals are met. Importantly, they will remain responsible for shared accountabilities in executing the plan, yet Dr. Aw will be ultimately accountable, through her collaboration with colleagues, for ensuring that progress is being made, measured, and reported to the AU community, as we promised to do.  

In addition, Dr. Aw will continue to work closely with the President's Council on Diversity and Inclusion. In order to successfully carry out these responsibilities, she will hire a new senior-level staff member to assist in these efforts.

Dr. Aw is supremely qualified to lead us in this work. As a sociologist and higher education professional, Fanta has subject expertise and experience in the work on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Indeed, she is one of the primary architects of our AU strategy. I can think of no one better qualified or suited to lead us in these important efforts.

Please congratulate Dr. Aw as she accepts this important new role and offer her your support as we travel on this journey to make AU more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.