I am pleased to announce that effective July 1, 2021, James Riley will assume the new role of Senior Director of Internal Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion. In addition to his leadership for internal engagement, James’ role will be expanded to include responsibility for the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Unity efforts across the UR division.
James will lead the DEIU Task Force and the 100+ volunteers serving on various DEIU committees to continue embedding a strong culture of DEIU in UR. Many thanks to Shelby Carroll and George West, who together with James, have led the Task Force for the last 10 months with tremendous passion and huge success! They will continue to be heavily involved in our DEIU efforts.
By including the leadership of UR’s DEIU efforts in James’ role, we ensure our aspirational vision will be combined with the processes and resources to create sustained and proactive change. In this newly expanded role, James and his team will curate and develop DEIU trainings for UR staff, including inclusive management and cultural sensitivity development, collaborate closely with teams and senior leadership on new programs and communication related to diversity and inclusion, participate in building a culture that is welcoming of individuals of all races, ethnicities, religions, national origin, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, parental status, age, ability, and veteran status and frequently assess progress through focus groups and climate surveys, provide counsel on fundraising initiatives, engagement plans, and communication strategies to optimize and adhere to principles of diversity and inclusion, partner with the Talent Acquisition team and Diversity Catalysts to provide guidance to hiring managers and committees to ensure consistent approaches are followed in our hiring process, and more.
James will continue to build and manage a trusted Internal Engagement function that creates programs and processes to support the UR employee experience throughout the entire employment lifecycle, including on-boarding, professional development, talent management, internal communication and engagement opportunities.
Also effective July 1st, Kathryn Valenti will assume the additional role of leadership of talent acquisition and recruiting for UR, as the Senior Director, Resource Strategy and Administration. Tara Gilchrist and Sheri Egendoerfer’s Talent Acquisition team will merge with the Finance Administration and Strategy team. The newly formed team will help streamline processes and bring enhanced focus to the use of University Relations’ resources – people/hiring, finance, athletic and event tickets – as we move into Campaign 9.