Chief Diversity Officer Joelle Murchison will be stepping down from her position at the University of Connecticut later this summer, according to a letter from President Susan Herbst that appeared in the Student Daily Digest.
Murchison joined the university as CDO in the fall of 2016 after UConn’s Diversity Task Force established the position in response to numerous reports of racism on campus.
While it is unclear why she is leaving the university, Murchison has faced criticism in the past from members of the student body over her policies surrounding the role of cultural centers at homecoming.
During her first year at the university, Murchison created a policy barring students from participating in the homecoming parade under cultural center names, allowing only student organizations within the centers to participate.
Following the announcement of the new homecoming policy, members of the student body had called for her suspension, with some even calling for her resignation at the time.
Herbst, in the letter announcing Murchison’s resignation, said she believes Murchison has had a positive impact on the culture of UConn and has progressed diversity and inclusion on campus.
“From chairing our Diversity Council, to launching the Inclusive Excellence Lecture Series, to the hands-on approach [Murchison] took in aiding our students impacted by the termination of the DACA program, we thank her for her service to UConn over the last two years, and wish her all the best,” Herbst said.
Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Dana Wilder will act as interim Chief Diversity Officer once Murchison steps down.
Andrew Miano is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.