University of Evansville Names New Chief Diversity Officer

Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019

The University of Evansville has named Robert Shelby, PhD, as its new Chief Diversity Officer. Beginning August 1, Shelby will lead and coordinate the University's efforts in all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As the Chief Diversity Officer, Shelby will report directly to the president of the University, will serve as part of the president's leadership team, and will lead the newly created Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Shelby will work closely with the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Human Resources with responsibilities in multicultural affairs, institutional equity/Title IX, and university religious life.

"This new organizational structure strengthens our ability to coordinate and enhance efforts of diversity, equity, and inclusion across campus," said UE president Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz.

Shelby earned his Ph.D. from the University of Louisville in 2016 in applied sociology. He earned graduate degrees in sociology from Western Illinois University and communications from Trinity International University, and an undergraduate degree in youth ministry and biblical studies from Trinity International University. In addition to his higher education experience, Shelby worked as an engineering technician and served in the U.S. Army.

Additionally, Shelby has been teaching sociology courses at the University of Evansville since 2015 as an assistant professor.

"Dr. Shelby is already part of the UE family," said Pietruszkiewicz. "He knows our culture and is well-respected among the student body. I cannot think of a better person to lead our diversity initiatives."

During his time at UE, Shelby has served as a student and faculty mentor, as a member of the taskforce on race, and as a Title IX investigator.

"I'm most excited to work with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni in this more actionable capacity," said Shelby. "Being entrusted to educate our students in the classroom has been my honor and privilege. Now, I hope to extend my concern for diversity, equity, and inclusion to our entire learning community."

Among his many duties, Shelby will manage the Diversity Resource Center, develop the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, coordinate the Let's Talk Diversity at UE events, serve as a mentor and advisor for multicultural and diversity-related student organizations, and work closely with internal and external constituencies to advance overall diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus.

"I am deeply humbled by the show of support from the UE community as I become the next Chief Diversity Officer," Shelby said. "I firmly believe that if we can agree that every human being has inherent value, we owe it to one another to think deeply, plan effectively, and act empathetically about matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion at UE."

Shelby has been married to Tricia for 26 years, and they have three adult daughters and one grandson.

Learn more about UE's diversity initiatives on the University's website

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