The University of Maryland has named Professor Roger L. Worthington, Ph.D., a national leader in diversity education, as Chief Diversity Officer and Interim Associate Provost. In this role, Worthington will work closely with senior leaders, faculty, staff, students and external constituencies to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and respect as core institutional values. He will be a member of the President's Cabinet, the Provost’s senior staff and the Council of Deans.
"We are very pleased that Dr. Worthington will serve as our Chief Diversity Officer," said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. "He is an exceptional scholar-practitioner and leader to guide our University's efforts to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all."
Since 2014, Worthington has served as professor and chair of the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education in UMD’s College of Education. Prior to arriving at UMD, he rose through the ranks at the University of Missouri from assistant to full professor, and served for nearly six years as the chief diversity officer and assistant deputy chancellor.
“I have dedicated my life’s work to advancing difficult dialogues and creating a culture of inclusion in higher education,” said Worthington. “The University of Maryland was once a national leader for diversity in higher education. In the face of tremendous tragedy, we can come together as a community to achieve transformational change and return to being a model of equity and social justice. I am honored to serve in the role of CDO at UMD.”
Worthington is a leading scholar in the fields of diversity, multicultural counseling and education. He is the editor of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. A founding member of the board of directors for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, he is the principal author of the “Standards of Professional Practice for Chief Diversity Officers.” In addition, the Governor of Missouri appointed Worthington to the state’s Commission on Human Rights.
He is the recipient of three prestigious grants from the Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues Initiative, and was the founding chair of the board of directors for the emerging Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center.
A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Worthington has authored and co-authored research and scholarship regarding race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious identity, social class and political ideology. He is a nationally recognized higher education consultant on diversity planning, campus climate research and intercultural student services, and has won numerous awards for academic, service and teaching excellence.
The university will also begin the work of elevating the Chief Diversity Officer position to a Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, indicating a major institutional commitment of effort and resources in areas such as campus climate; recruitment and retention; scholarship and creative work on diversity; and educational programs.