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Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion realigned to create two distinct units

In a move to enhance its operations and impact, Emory University’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) has realigned to create two distinct units, Provost Ravi Bellamkonda announced Feb. 17.

Carol Henderson, chief diversity officer and vice provost for diversity, equity and inclusion, will continue to lead Emory’s actively expanding and ongoing diversity and inclusion advocacy work such as the recently released Institutional DEI Strategic Planning Communities’ Report; the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates survey; the Executive Leadership Council, comprising DEI leaders from each of the colleges and schools; the Diversity Liaison Committee, charged with studying past diversity efforts; and the Diverse Supplier Initiative in partnership with Procurement.

Maurice L. Middleton, interim associate vice provost for institutional equity and compliance, will head the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance. In this unit, Middleton will lead the Department of Accessibility Services, the Department of Title IX, and the Department of Equity and Inclusion, all formerly under Henderson’s purview.

This change is in alignment with national best practices at peer institutions such as MIT, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University and Vanderbilt University, and helps strengthen the university’s work of advocacy of diversity, equity and inclusion while protecting the neutrality and objectivity that is necessary for compliance.

“I’m impressed and excited by the advocacy work of Vice Provost Henderson and her unit to move Emory forward with smart, community-based solutions. This shift will allow her to focus and build upon that important work, while enabling Maurice Middleton to take the lead in developing fair, objective policies and procedures focused on equity and compliance,” says Bellamkonda.

ODEI advocates for all employees of and applicants to Emory University without regard to race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, genetic information, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran’s status or any other factor that is a prohibited consideration under applicable law. 

“We've recently gathered feedback from our DEI Strategic Planning Communities, including from students, faculty, staff and civic and community partners, and now we're soliciting feedback,” says Henderson. “We also await the survey results and recommendations from the NACCC Climate Survey. I look forward to focusing my attention on the next steps of both of these processes —putting into practice what it means to be an inclusive and diverse campus and seeing the fruition of the opening stages of our advocacy work.”

The Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance handles issues of legality, conducting unbiased reviews of discrimination and harassment complaints; protecting students, faculty and staff from sex discrimination, including sexual harassment; assuring reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities; and providing educational programs and trainings related to equal opportunity, affirmative action, Title IX and disability.

"I'm excited to continue moving the great work of the offices forward. The Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance will remain committed to promoting a fair and accessible campus environment for the Emory University community," says Middleton. 

Middleton’s prior work within ODEI at Emory has prepared him well to lead the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance. In addition to a juris master degree from Emory University School of Law, he has a background of more than 15 years of human resources, Equal Employment Opportunity, diversity and leadership development in both the higher education and health care industries. Maurice holds certifications from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Association of Title IX Administrators.

Henderson and Middleton will continue to collaborate where their work intersects to amplify the operational excellence within their redefined areas. Resources for students, faculty and staff from both offices may still be found at

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