Chief Diversity Officer

Making sure Weber State University represents the varied needs of northern Utah’s diverse population is a full-time job. Now, the university has an official full-time position to match the demand: chief diversity officer.

On May 4, 2015, Adrienne Gillespie Andrews became WSU’s first chief diversity officer. Andrews spent the past two years as President Charles A. Wight’s special assistant for diversity and the coordinator for WSU’s Center for Diversity & Unity. In this expanded role, she is positioned to promote a culture of inclusion at the university.

Andrews is excited about the capacity for change this new position brings to Weber State. “It will help us transform into the institution we seek to become,” she said.

That vision, according to Wight, includes a campus community that reflects the community around WSU. “This position better enables us to work toward those ends,” he said. The top item on Andrews’ to-do list is developing a strategic plan for diversity at WSU. She also plans to focus on faculty/staff development in diversity areas, strengthening relationships between the university and various cultural, religious and other identity-based groups, and making sure student needs are being met.

“We are at a better place than we have ever been in the 10-plus years that I’ve been at the institution,” she said. “Diversity is becoming a common part of the conversation across campus, whether that is about people, ideas, opportunities, outreach, engagement or other topics.”

She credits previous diversity advocates at WSU, as well as the current administration, for their efforts to promote inclusivity.

“I’ve spent the last two years building on a solid foundation developed by Dr. Forrest Crawford and others, and I believe that in my full-time capacity, we will be able to move things further, faster and with greater support because of the leadership we experience under President Wight.”