Nkenge Friday has been named the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s first assistant vice chancellor for strategic initiatives within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Selected following a national search, Friday will serve as a campus leader and strategist on diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“Nkenge brings a wealth of experience that will be key as we move forward expanding a culture of inclusion, collaboration and shared-meaning making here at Nebraska,” said Marco Barker, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion. “Her appointment will help assure that diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus will be thoughtful, data-driven and strategic.”
Nkenge (pronounced In-kin-jee) Friday has most recently served 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.
“Recent initiatives have placed the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in a unique position to expand its definition of diversity and inclusion, how it can benefit the entire campus community and create a shared culture of understanding,” Friday said. “I’m excited to get on campus and begin working with Marco and other university leaders as we build momentum across the institution.”
She will join the campus community on Sept. 30.
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 was selected following a national search led by Amber Williams, assistant vice chancellor for academic services and enrollment management.
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 identify and build partnerships across campus, maximizing and leveraging institutional talent.
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.
Learn more about diversity and inclusion at Nebraska.