A university-wide search committee has selected Ray Gillian, currently with the University of Maryland, College Park, to head up the new Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Programs. Gillian assumes the title of assistant provost and director, and will report to the provost.
The new university-wide office will bring together and expand upon the current Affirmative Action Program, disability services and Sexual Harassment Prevention and Resolution Program.
The assistant provost will provide leadership and direction to the university's efforts to promote institutional equality and a diverse Hopkins community. The primary responsibility of the post is to assure that the university's programs and procedures comply with federal, state and local laws and regulations related to affirmative action and equal opportunity.
Steven Knapp, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, says the "vigorously conducted" national search produced a wealth of able candidates and the university was fortunate to find such a highly qualified individual at a neighboring institution. For the past 16 years, Gillian has been assistant to the president at College Park, a position in which he was responsible for developing, monitoring and implementing the university's equity and diversity procedures.
"He has exactly the right mix of skills and experience that will enable him to establish and manage this important new office," Knapp says of Gillian, who will join Hopkins on April 2. "He brings to the position a calm authority and a thoughtful, strategic approach, as well as collegial style and a readiness to work collaboratively with the deans and directors and the many faculty and staff groups that are doing so much already to enhance the institution's diversity."
Knapp says Gillian is coming into a situation in which the groundwork for equity and diversity has already been laid. Through the Provost's Committee on the Status of Women and, more recently, the Diversity Leadership Council, Knapp says the university has made significant strides in ensuring equity, diversifying the work force and making the institution more hospitable to women and minority students, faculty and staff.
"Ray Gillian is exactly the right person to help us focus these efforts and keep moving in the direction President Brody has laid out," Knapp says.
Edgar Roulhac, vice provost for academic services and chair of the search committee, says the university "hit a home run" in securing Gillian. The national search produced 125 applicants, a group that was whittled down to four "exceptional" finalists, Roulhac says, "each of whom could have stepped right into the position.
"There was overwhelming support for the fact that what the university needed was represented in Ray Gillian's skill set," Roulhac says. "Ray is an exceedingly qualified individual who will provide the kind of energy that we need to build a lot of bridges among the staff, faculty and student body. He complements our needs in so many ways."
Gillian brings with him 30 years of experience in higher education. Prior to becoming assistant to the president of the University of Maryland, College Park, he served from 1977 to 1984 as that institution's director of special student support services. He began his professional career at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, serving as director of minority affairs and then later as director of the Center for Educational Opportunity, which provided support services for educationally and economically disadvantaged students.
The staff of Hopkins' new Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Programs will include a disabilities services coordinator, an investigator/complaint handler and related support personnel. Searches will begin soon to fill these positions.
Gillian says he is enthusiastic about the promise of coming to "an elite private university" and establishing an office from the ground up.
"Certainly it is exciting to be able to create something and move it in a particular direction, but it is also a challenge, and one that I eagerly look forward to," Gillian says. "I view my position here as an opportunity to really make a difference."
Gillian says he takes pride in his ability to have created a more diverse student and faculty population at College Park, and to have put in place policies that he feels improved the campus experience for ethnic minorities, women and others who thought the university was not being responsive enough to their needs.
He says that promoting institutional equality at Johns Hopkins will be a shared responsibility, which means working very closely with university officials.
"Together, we have to figure out what will work the best," Gillian says.
A resident of Columbia, Md., Gillian received his bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Ohio State University.
Gillian says he plans on spending his first several months at Hopkins meeting with the deans, directors and faculty in order to "gain a lay of the land" and develop some preliminary thoughts on policies that would be appropriate to Hopkins.