Creighton announced the appointment of the new Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion on Jan. 9 in a letter to all faculty, staff and students.
Christopher Whitt, the former chair of the Department of Political Science at Augustana College, will assume the position on Feb. 19.
Whitt said he looks forward to working with the entire Creighton community.
“I’m very excited about the possibility for various collaborators,” said Whitt.
While he was running for CSU president last year, Patrick Marta expressed a desire to work on diversity and inclusion at Creighton.
“The addition of the Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion demonstrates the progression we are making as an institution, as well as a commitment to addressing student needs,” said Marta in an emailed statement.
Whitt also emphasized the importance of community regarding diversity, saying that when people are underrepresented, “the missing element is synergy.”
Whitt said that this was one of his goals: to build a community for underrepresented people at Creighton. This is part of his initiative to build a “stronger Creighton.”
He said that he wants to help Creighton become a leader when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
Whitt was also the director of the Center for Inclusive Leadership and Equity at Augustana College, as well as the founder of the Diversity Dissertation Fellowship Program.
The announcement letter from Creighton’s office of the president stated that because Whitt’s beliefs and goals aligned with the university’s, and he was a good fit for the new position.
“As a community of learners and leaders whose interests and influences expand every day, and as a local campus surrounded by a diverse community, we look forward to Dr. Whitt’s leadership as we continue to connect Creighton not only with the wider world, but also the one just outside our doorstep,” the letter said. “He is a proven leader in fostering the integral conversations about diversity and inclusion that serve to make our world a bigger, more accepting place.”
One of the things that Whitt said he liked most about Creighton was the dynamics of the school and of Omaha.
He said that he was drawn to Creighton by the ideals behind setting the world on fire and the Jesuit teachings.