Office for Equity and Diversity Vice President Search

Photo of a group of students from the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence walking on campus

Vice President for Equity & Diversity Announcement

A message on the Vice President for Equity & Diversity Search from President Gabel

I am delighted to announce Dr. Mercedes Ramírez Fernández as our next vice president for equity and diversity, effective August 31, 2022 and pending Board of Regents approval on July 13. In this vital leadership role, Dr. Ramírez Fernández will report directly to me, serve as a key member of my cabinet, and advance a community and culture where a sense of belonging is strong, accessibility is valued, and equity and diversity are promoted.

Dr. Ramírez Fernández has more than 20 years of experience in higher education administration. She is recognized for her leadership on issues of diversity and campus climate at several leading universities, and specializes in higher education curriculum, institutional models that support student success, strategic enrollment management, and assessment. Dr. Ramírez Fernández currently serves as the Richard Feldman Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Rochester, recruited to open the University’s inaugural Office of Equity and Inclusion and to serve as the institution’s first chief diversity officer. Prior to Rochester, she served as Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Affairs and Diversity at Virginia Tech. Dr. Ramírez Fernández earned a doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Counseling and Human Development from the University of Iowa, and a BA in Psychology with a concentration in Spanish Literature from the University of Puerto Rico. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Ramírez Fernández as our next vice president for equity and diversity.

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Michael Goh for his dedicated service as our vice president for equity and diversity over the past 5 years and wish him the very best in his return to the faculty in the College of Education and Human Development. Michael’s last day as vice president will be June 30, and I want to thank Associate Vice Provost Keisha Varma in the Office for Equity and Diversity for agreeing to serve as interim vice president until Dr. Ramírez Fernández joins us on August 31. 

My thanks to search committee co-chairs Karen Diver, senior advisor to the president for Native American affairs, and Ken Horstman, vice president for human resources, and the members of the search committee for their dedication and service to yield a tremendous pool of candidates. My gratitude as well to the many members of our University community who participated during this competitive, national search process – your important voices and countless contributions were critically important to me.

Photo of Dr. Mercedes Ramírez Fernández

Dr. Mercedes Ramírez Fernández

Richard Feldman Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 

PDF icon Dr. Mercedes Ramírez Fernández Curriculum Vitae







Vice President for Equity and Diversity Search Committee

Karen Diver, Senior Advisor to the President for Native American Affairs, Co-Chair
Ken Horstman, Vice President for Human Resources, Co-Chair
Cori Bazemore-James, Assistant Vice Provost, Graduate School Diversity Office, Graduate School
UJ Bhowmik, Professional Student, Law School, President of Professional Student Government (PSG)
Carlos Carranza-Torres, Professor, Swenson College of Science & Engineering, UM-Duluth
Steve Davis, Jr., Associate Vice President of Engagement, University of Minnesota Alumni Association
Savala DeVoge, Dean of Student Engagement and Wellness, UM-Crookston
Javier Gutierrez, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success, Engagement, and Equity, UMR
Marissa Hill-Dongre, Assistant Director, International Student and Scholars Services (UMTC) and Director of the Immigration Response Team, Global Program Strategy Alliance
Tina Marisam, Associate Vice President, Office for Equity and Diversity
Peh Ng, Acting Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean, UM-Morris
Ana Nunez, Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Medical School
Barbara Peterson, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Nursing, and Chair of the Senate Committee on Equity and Diversity
Calvin Phillips, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Dylan Young, Undergraduate Student, Division of Social Sciences, UM-Morris, and Member of Student Senate Consultative Committee (SSCC)
Abdulaziz Mohamed, Undergraduate Student, College of Liberal Arts, and President of the Minnesota Student Association (MSA)