Randy Williams named vice president and associate provost for inclusive excellence

In his new role, Williams will serve as the university’s chief diversity officer and report to President Connie Ledoux Book.

Elon University senior staff member Randy Williams has been named vice president and associate provost for inclusive excellence. In his new role, Williams will serve as the university’s chief diversity officer and will report directly to President Connie Ledoux Book. His responsibilities will include providing vision, leadership and strategic coordination of university resources in accomplishing its inclusive excellence goals.

Randy Williams, vice president and associate provost for inclusive excellence

Book announced the new role for Williams on July 8 as part of a series of action steps the university is taking to promote diversity, equity and inclusion and build a better Elon.

“Dr. Williams is a proven leader who has the experience and depth of knowledge to move Elon forward and inspire progress in making our university a place where people of all backgrounds and perspectives thrive and achieve their goals,” Book said. “He has been an integral part of Elon’s senior leadership team and has guided our ongoing progress to make substantive changes in the university’s policies, practices and culture.”

Williams has been serving as associate vice president for inclusive excellence and assistant professor of education. He recently led efforts to design and launch the President’s Advisory Council on Inclusive Excellence focused on campus climate, diversity education and Elon policies. Williams also provided leadership in visioning diversity, equity and inclusion goals in the university’s recently launched 10-year strategic plan, Boldly Elon. He was tasked with maintaining strong ties between the academic affairs and student life divisions of the university. In that role, Williams chaired the Provost’s Inclusive Community Team and supervised staff who lead Elon’s new Center for Equity and Inclusive Excellence as well as the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education (CREDE) and the Gender and LGBTQIA Center.

“Though the university has made progress through the decades, there is still much work to be done at Elon,” Williams said. “It is gratifying during this critical time to see so many students, faculty, staff and alumni invested in making progress on these important issues, on campus and in our society. I look forward to our shared work of expanding perspectives, leading to thriving individuals who are exceptionally prepared to excel in a world of vast human differences.”

Williams joined Elon in 2014 as presidential fellow, special assistant to the president and dean of multicultural affairs. He was a driving force in the transition of Elon’s former Multicultural Center into the CREDE, which more accurately reflected the center’s crucial role in Elon’s diversity and inclusion programs and its support for students across the university.

Williams was named associate vice president for campus engagement in 2016, working across three divisions: Student Life, Academic Affairs and University Advancement. He served on and often led projects that were derived from thoughtful discussions among colleagues and students. His engagement with Academic Affairs and Student Life topics enabled him to understand issues and contribute to collaborations across units. This knowledge was used to cultivate relationships with donors, leading to philanthropy that supports student success. He is passionately student-centered in all his work.

Williams also has academic affiliation with the School of Education as an assistant professor of education. He teaches in the Master of Arts in Higher Education Program, positioning him to act on his scholarship interests in higher education equity, leadership and governance along with college student development.

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Prior to joining Elon, Williams was vice president for student affairs and dean of students at North Carolina Wesleyan College. He also served as assistant dean of students at the College of William & Mary, and before that position, was associate dean of students at Hampden-Sydney College. Among his professional affiliations is a Review Committee Chair role with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Williams has a doctorate in educational policy, planning and leadership from the College of William & Mary, a master’s degree in counselor education from Longwood University, and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Hampden-Sydney College.