The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned that Clyde Wilson Pickett, a leading expert in higher education diversity and education strategy, has been named Pitt’s Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion.
In a release provided to the Courier by the University of Pittsburgh, Pickett will collaborate with university leadership to ensure that Pitt’s mission, vision and strategic priorities are aligned with creating a more inclusive, diverse culture of belonging. He will also lead proactive initiatives, services, connections and education across Pitt’s campuses pertaining to diversity and inclusion. In the last academic year, the release read, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion underwent a strategic restructure to position itself toward more focused, proactive work with an emphasis on prevention and education.
“There is no one better to serve in the position of vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion than Clyde Pickett,” said Kathy Humphrey, senior vice chancellor for engagement and secretary of the Board of Trustees, in a statement. “I am delighted to welcome Clyde to the University of Pittsburgh, where his experience and leadership will help us live up to our commitment of making Pitt a more equitable place.”
“I am very excited about joining the University of Pittsburgh and working collaboratively on strategies to further advance equity, access, inclusion and belonging at the University,” said Pickett, in the release. “I am appreciative for the opportunity and am committed to working hard to establish strong relationships built on trust, integrity, authenticity, visibility and transparency.”
Pickett’s name is pretty familiar in Pittsburgh’s higher education ranks. An alumnus of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program in Pitt’s School of Education, he served as chief diversity officer for the Community College of Allegheny County, and most recently, as chief diversity officer for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. While at Minnesota State, Pickett was responsible for leading and developing system-wide diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and policy guidance for Minnesota State’s 54 campuses.
Pickett has assumed various leadership roles over the course of his career including advancing best practices for diversity; recruitment; and the retention of students, staff and faculty of color. He is an expert in organizational leadership development and data-informed decision-making related to diversity and inclusion. An administrator and scholar with considerable experience translating theory into practice, he has expertise in strategic planning and Title IX.
Pitt outlined Pickett’s professional accomplishments in the release. They include: Establishing and implementing the Minnesota State Equity and Inclusion Council, comprised of stakeholders from eight bargaining units consisting of faculty, staff, students and administrators; Developing a system-wide framework to examine campus climate at the 37 Minnesota State institutions; Developing and executing a strategy to apply equity as a formal component of policy review; Developing and facilitating a leadership training for new career and aspiring senior diversity officers; Organizing a system-wide cultural competency training for all employees at CCAC; Developing initiatives at Ohio Northern University, where he served as director of multicultural development and director of new student orientation, that resulted in a 43 percent increase in retention of students of color and consulting on projects that increased the University’s population of students of color by 7 percent; Established a multicultural center at Ohio Northern University.
At Pitt, Pickett will succeed Pamela Connelly, who served as the university’s first vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion and stepped down in January.
CLYDE WILSON PICKETT