University of Florida selects new Executive Director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs

April 3, 2017
Sara Tanner

After a thorough national search, the University of Florida announced that Will Atkins has been selected as Executive Director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, effective immediately. 

Multicultural and Diversity Affairs supports and empowers underserved communities and leads the Division of Student Affairs’ inclusion efforts to accomplish the University of Florida’s diversity goals, by educating, empowering and mobilizing students, campus stakeholders and community partners towards creating an inclusive, affirming, and just campus community. The Executive Director oversees the department of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, including Black Affairs, Hispanic-Latino Affairs, Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer Affairs, and Intercultural Engagement.

"Out of a robust and competitive applicant and finalist pool, Mr. Atkins has been selected to serve as the Executive Director of MCDA,” said Dr. David Parrott, UF’s vice president for Student Affairs. “He brings experience from several large universities, in addition to six months as the interim leader of MCDA. The University of Florida, the Division of Student Affairs, and our students will benefit from his leadership, compassion, and commitment to excellence. He has a superb core group of full-time staff, graduate assistants, and student employees and volunteers who will serve as the foundation of the new team he will build."

In his time serving as interim Executive Director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs and past roles at the University of Florida, Miami University, and University of Michigan, Atkins has a proven track record of exemplary professionalism, leadership and relationship building skills. Most recently, he co-lead the Black Student Affairs Task Force, launched an intercultural dialogue series, and organized the Town Hall with President Kent Fuchs.

“Mr. Atkins brings a strong foundation in social justice education, serving underrepresented students and working on campus climate initiatives and assessment,” said Dr. Mary Kay Carodine, assistant vice president for Student Affairs. “His excellent relationships and collaborations with academic colleges and departments, student organizations and alumni combined with the strength of the team, poise MCDA to make a substantial and lasting impact on campus.”

Through the search process, the Division of Student Affairs brought four candidates to Gainesville for on-campus interviews. The finalists were strongly vetted through a review of stakeholder feedback, strengths/weaknesses provided by the search committee, and extensive reference checks with the candidates’ current and former employers and faculty members.

For the role of Executive Director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, UF sought an individual with strategic vision and leadership, strong communication skills, experience with advocacy, and a history of meaningful collaborations, among other attributes.

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