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Leadership appointment

Dr. Delores Mullings named vice-provost equity, diversity and inclusion at Memorial

By Jennifer Batten

Dr. Delores V. Mullings has been appointed as Memorial’s first vice-provost, equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

The Board of Regents approved the appointment at its meeting on May 13. Dr. Mullings’ appointment is effective Aug. 27, 2021, for a five-year term, renewable subject to review.

Meeting diverse needs

An eight-person search committee comprised of students, staff, faculty and administrators from across the university developed a position profile and requested applications from the internal university community.

The committee interviewed shortlisted applicants, after which time Dr. Mullings was put forward for the public consultation and a second interview. Upon conclusion of the process, the appointment was unanimously recommended.

“Dr. Mullings is a highly qualified, experienced and community-engaged leader in EDI in Newfoundland and Labrador, across Canada and beyond,” said Dr. Florentine Strzelczyk, provost and vice-president (academic).

“While I have only just begun in my role at Memorial, I am keenly aware of the importance of this role in moving us forward. I am confident that Dr. Mullings will lead us in addressing and overcoming EDI issues that affect students, faculty, staff and the greater community, ensuring the right supports and services are in place to meet the diverse needs of the constituencies that make up our university community.”

Background

Dr. Mullings has worked in community organizations providing resources and services to individuals with complex lived experiences including those who are survivors of war, torture, hate crimes, violent crimes and genocide, as well as poverty and homelessness.

She brings more than 35 years of human rights, equity and inclusion experience in not-for-profit organizations and academia. In her capacity as program co-ordinator, peer counsellor and frontline worker, she spearheaded and contributed to organizational change locally and provincially in the anti-violence and child welfare fields.

“I am excited to … help transform Memorial into an EDI giant and a model for not only the Atlantic region, but Canada as a whole.” — Dr. Delores Mullings

She brings a wealth of experience working with immigrants and refugees; children, youth and older adults; Black, Indigenous and racialized people; and people of different gender, sexual orientation and ability.

Dr. Mullings began her journey at Memorial as assistant professor in 2009 and progressed to associate professor and interim associate dean of undergraduate programs.

She is also the former chair in teaching and learning in the School of Social Work and the recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching (Faculty).

Her interdisciplinary scholarship explores decolonizing post-secondary education, mothering and parenting, mental health and wellness, LGBTQ+ concerns, settlement and integration, elders/older adults and adults living with or vulnerable to HIV using critical pedagogies, including anti-Black racism, Africentric theory and critical race theory.

Her research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Public Health Agency of Canada and Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada, resulted in numerous publications that have been disseminated in communities, journals and books.

Memorial as model

“Memorial university has taken a bold and courageous step to adequately fund and support a vice-provost of equity, diversity and inclusion portfolio,” said Dr. Mullings.

“I am excited to provide the leadership to help transform Memorial into an EDI giant and a model for not only the Atlantic region, but Canada as a whole. I am proud of Memorial’s EDI accomplishments in the last five years and I look forward to taking us to the next level. Here we go!”

Noted gap

The position of vice-provost of equity, diversity and inclusion was approved by Memorial’s Board of Regents in late 2019.

Memorial’s Employment Equity and Diversity Plan recommended the establishment of a senior role with responsibility for EDI, noting the gap in the university’s senior leadership.

As the inaugural vice-provost of EDI, Dr. Mullings will build strong relationships with senior administrative, academic and student leaders, as well as with the broader university community, working collaboratively to advance institutional goals on equity, diversity, and inclusion.


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