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Eric Williams, PhD
Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Dr. Eric Williams joined Rosalind Franklin University in August 2021 as the inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In this role, Dr. Williams guides the development and implementation of a proactive diversity, equity, inclusion and community engagement vision that supports the mission and vision of Rosalind Franklin University. He provides an environment in which all have the opportunity to succeed by promoting a culture of inclusion where individuals from all racial and ethnic identities, ages, religions, nationalities, educational backgrounds social and economic status, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, as well as physical and mental abilities can thrive, learn, and work.
Dr. Williams comes to RFU from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he Assistant Vice Provost for Student Diversity and Scholarship Programs. During nearly a decade of work on diversity initiatives at UW, he collaborated with faculty, staff, students and community groups in developing the university’s diversity strategic plan. He also worked with UW faculty and staff committees that included campus diversity officers and provided DEI training across multiple university constituencies. Thanks in large part to his efforts, in 2017, UW achieved a 90% retention rate of underrepresented students in divisional programs, up from 79% in 2013.
He also served Executive Director of the Educational Opportunity Program at Marquette University and as director of the Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. At Virginia Tech, he helped to develop and implement the Coordinated School Visits Program, which was designed to diversify graduate enrollment through coordinated recruitment efforts through outreach to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and other Minority Serving Institutions. His office also successfully awarded more than $1 million annually in scholarships and tuition assistance to students.
Dr. Williams is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds a master’s degree in higher education and college student personnel from Kent State University and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Tech.