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April 28, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 16

Richard Jefferson, who served as director of employee relations, will be executive director of the University's new Office for Institutional Diversity.

Jefferson to Head Diversity Office

Steering committee will set strategic direction for diversity initiatives

Boston College has announced the appointment of Richard Jefferson as executive director of the Office for Institutional Diversity, effective May 1.

Jefferson, who had worked as director of employee relations at Boston College since 1991, has served as acting director for institutional diversity since April 2004. He first joined the Department of Human Resources at Boston College in 1985 and had previously held positions as director of affirmative action and employment manager.

In announcing the appointment, Vice President for Human Resources Leo Sullivan praised Jefferson as a person uniquely qualified to handle the challenges of the position.

"Under the leadership of Associate Academic Vice President Patricia De Leeuw, we conducted a national search and realized that the person best suited to fill this role was already here at Boston College," said Sullivan. "Richard is a person of great integrity who knows the University and the issues and challenges that it faces regarding diversity. I think his knowledge and leadership skills will make him a most effective executive director."

Added De Leeuw, "Richard has the advantage of knowing BC - its citizens, its strengths and its needs. But he also has some very creative ideas about how this office can take a leadership role and partner with existing efforts to increase diversity on campus. While he has the strengths of someone familiar, he also has the strengths of someone who is new and has fresh ideas."

A graduate of Williams College who also holds a doctorate in jurisprudence from Boston University, Jefferson came to Boston College from the Massachusetts State Department of Education where he served as regional desegregation specialist. Previously, he had served as staff attorney for the Center for Law and Education in Cambridge.

Jefferson said he views this appointment as the pinnacle of his 20 years at Boston College and as the logical progression for a career dedicated to improving the working climate for all people.

"I am honored and humbled by the trust that Leo Sullivan, Fr. Leahy, members of the search committee and other constituents involved in the process have placed in me," said Jefferson. "I look forward to focusing on diversity as a valuable resource and to presenting diversity as a competitive advantage that can add value to our work at Boston College. As always, I will also remain committed to promoting diversity in our overall recruiting and hiring efforts."

Jefferson has served on the Boston College Climate Survey Committee, the Black Faculty Staff and Administrators Association, the Affiliates Steering Committee, the BC Diversity Facilitators Group and the BC Pride volunteer diversity training group.

In addition to Jefferson's newly created position, a Diversity Steering Committee led by Leo Sullivan, Executive Vice President Patrick Keating, Vice President for Student Affairs Cheryl Presley and Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties John J. Neuhauser will set the strategic direction for the University's diversity initiatives and offer institutional support for ongoing and future diversity efforts.

"I look forward to working closely with Leo Sullivan and the steering committee to explore and improve the climate for diversity at Boston College," said Jefferson. "I am very excited about the challenges that lie ahead."

A lifelong Newton resident, Jefferson is the husband of former BC employee Helen Fisher Jefferson '76 and the father of Jeremiah, a 2002 graduate of Fairfield University, and Ashley Bernard, a senior at Boston College. He also serves on the Deacon Board at the Myrtle Baptist Church.

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