Finalists named for diversity and inclusion assistant vice chancellor

· 6 min read

Finalists named for diversity and inclusion assistant vice chancellor

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Three finalists — (pictured, from left) Angela M. Person, Nkenge Friday and Michael Dixon — have been selected through a national search for Nebraska's first assistant vice chancellor for strategic initiatives within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The interviews begin July 15.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has named three finalists for assistant vice chancellor for strategic initiatives within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The candidates were selected through a national search and will visit campus July 15, 16 and 19. They will participate in all-day interviews, including hour-long public presentations with a question and answer opportunity, at 11 a.m. each day. The presentations are open to the public.

The three finalists and public presentations are:

  • Angela M. Person, director of research initiatives and strategic planning, College of Architecture, University of Oklahoma — 11 a.m., July 15, Nebraska Union, Regency A;

  • Nkenge Friday, associate dean of students and director of diversity and inclusion, Marietta College — 11 a.m., July 16, Nebraska Union, Regency A;

  • Michael Dixon, chief diversity officer and director of intercultural services, Manchester University — 11 a.m. July 19, Love Library, Peterson Room (Love Library South, Room 221).

“The appointment of the assistant vice chancellor reflects the importance of diversity and inclusion being thoughtful, data-driven and strategic,” said Marco Barker, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion. “Amber Williams and the search committee have done an amazing job at identifying a range of candidates. I look forward to learning more about how they see themselves contributing to our institution and state.”

For each public presentation, the candidates have been asked to describe how they would embolden a culture of inclusion, collaboration and shared meaning-making. Individuals who attend are encouraged to offer feedback on each presentation through online evaluations. Access to the evaluation forms will be available through 4 p.m. July 19.

Details about each candidate and links to provide feedback are below.

Nebraska’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is tasked with collaborating across campus, shaping policies, protocols and practices necessary to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the university’s recruitment, retention, education and research efforts.

The assistant vice chancellor for strategic initiatives will report directly to Barker, Nebraska’s first vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion. The position will serve as a campus leader and strategist on diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Some responsibilities of the assistant vice chancellor position include: overseeing communication and external relations for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; budget and financial management; data analysis; serving as a liaison with campus and community groups; coordinating institutional diversity-related committees and workgroups; designing and delivering innovative diversity education; and assisting with the development of the university’s diversity strategy, Office of Diversity and Inclusion priorities and other related programs, initiatives and projects.


Angela M. Person

Public presentation: 11 a.m. to noon, July 15 | Nebraska Union, Regency A

Angela M. Person
Angela M. Person

Person is director of research initiatives and strategic planning for the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma. In the role, she leads activities on strategic planning, diversity and inclusion, research, and stakeholder outreach. Her recent initiatives include establishing a diversity and inclusion training series for faculty and staff; building a college-specific webpage outlining diversity and inclusion resources; and integrating implicit bias and diversity awareness units into the college’s core curriculum for undergraduates.

Person previously served as a doctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, where she collaborated on a 2014-2018 strategic plan for a unit that oversees an annual budget of $60 million and more than 800 staff employees.

An award-winning educator, Person’s scholarly interests include environment-society relationships and identity formation. She is particularly interested in how different build environments and modes of communication help facilitate healthier communities.

Person earned a doctorate from the University of Oklahoma while studying geography and environmental sustainability. She also earned a Master of Arts in museum studies and a Bachelor of Science in environmental design from Oklahoma.

Person’s public presentation is 11 a.m. to noon, July 15 in the Nebraska Union, Regency A. Her evaluation form is available here.


Nkenge Friday

Public presentation: 11 a.m. to noon, July 16 | Nebraska Union, Regency A

Nkenge Friday
Nkenge Friday

Friday serves as associate dean of students and director of diversity and inclusion at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio. She directed a cultural climate assessment of the campus that led to the creation of One Marietta, an inclusive excellence initiative. The project also resulted in the college’s first multicultural student center and themed housing community, along with the establishment of five full-tuition scholarships for historically underserved students engaged in social justice.

Friday previously served as director of multicultural affairs on the Washington, D.C., campus of SIT Graduate Institute (formerly School for International Training), a private graduate institution based in Brattleboro, Vermont. In that role, she oversaw all aspects of student support services; collaborated with academic deans; and created a diversity training module for international faculty and staff in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Friday earned a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University, a Master of Arts from the University of Oklahoma, and Bachelor of Arts from Tougaloo College. She is a member of several professional associations and holds leadership positions in key areas, contributing research in fields that include global education, socioeconomic disparity, and assessment and evaluation.

Friday’s public presentation is 11 a.m. to noon, July 16 in the Nebraska Union, Regency A. Her evaluation form is available here.


Michael Dixon

Public presentation: 11 a.m. to noon, July 19 | Love Library, Peterson Room (Love Library South, Room 221)

Michael Dixon
Michael Dixon

Dixon serves as chief diversity officer and director of intercultural services at Manchester University in North Manchester, Indiana. He provides leadership in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and international student support.

Dixon has focused on initiatives that build change from the ground up, leading diversity strategic planning, and educating broadly about diversity in various areas.

He previously served as the inaugural coordinator for intercultural live and leadership programs at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. While there, he created infrastructure for diversity initiatives, student leadership and the intersection of those two areas.

Dixon’s research interests focus on addressing diversity needs in the student affairs profession, analyzing diversity self-awareness of college and university administrators, and critical race theory as it relates to biracial and multiracial student development.

Dixon is a doctoral candidate in educational leadership and administration at Indiana State University. He earned a Master of Education in College Student Affairs Leadership from Grand Valley State University and a Bachelor of Science in multidisciplinary studies from North Carolina State University.

Dixon’s public presentation is 11 a.m. to noon, July 19 in Love Library South, Peterson Room (Room 221). His evaluation form is available here.