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University appoints Sylvia Carey-Butler as vice president for institutional equity and diversity

Carey-Butler will oversee future of DIAP, focus on structural inclusion barriers

Sylvia R. Carey-Butler will serve as the new vice president for institutional equity and diversity effective Aug. 16, according to a June 24 news release.

Carey-Butler will replace Shontay Delalue, former vice president for institutional equity and diversity who departed in June for a new role as senior vice president and senior diversity officer at Dartmouth. Her appointment follows a months-long search to fill Delalue’s vacancy.

Carey-Butler currently works at Kennesaw State University in Georgia as its chief diversity officer, where she has helped develop a diversity and inclusion action plan and led its Presidential Task Force on Race. She was also named a Top 100 Diversity Officer in 2021 by the National Diversity Council and created a curriculum on topics of diversity and inclusion for the American Council on Education’s fellows program.

“We are thrilled to welcome an accomplished leader who brings with her a deep understanding of the essential role that diversity, equity and inclusion play in higher education,” President Christina Paxson P’19 wrote in an email to students. “Sylvia has a proven ability as an inclusive collaborator and respected problem-solver who builds strong relationships across campus.”

In her role, Carey-Butler will lead the University’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity. Her responsibilities will include addressing compliance in non-discrimination and Title IX complaints. She will also oversee progress on the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, coordinate training and help direct initiatives and programs across campus.

Carey-Butler was selected by a committee of students, faculty and staff chaired by Paxson and Eric Estes, vice president for campus life and student services.

“Sylvia stood out for her impressive expertise and experience,” Estes said in the news release. “She will make an immediate impact as a leader on campus, particularly in a moment that demands a sustained, thoughtful approach to working together to ensure equity and justice for all members of our community.”

In her new role, Carey-Butler hopes to ensure that the University addresses diversity and inclusion in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and structural barriers to inclusion.

“I recognize that our work may prove to be difficult as we fight against two national pandemics at once — COVID-19 and racism — but I am confident in the University’s commitment and capacity to address both,” Carey-Butler said in the news release. “Moreover, I envision Brown as the leader in modeling how to dismantle historical racial inequities.”



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