Christopher Manning, an experienced leader and advocate for diversity in higher education, has been named USC’s first chief inclusion and diversity officer, USC President Carol L. Folt announced Monday.
He will report directly to the president and begin his new role on March 1.
Manning joins USC after serving as both an assistant and an associate provost for academic diversity for nearly five years at Loyola University in Chicago. During his tenure at Loyola, he spent many years teaching and conducting research on the histories of marginalized populations.
“Chris has a strong track record of collaborating with administration, faculty and student leaders to effectively create practices that promote inclusion,” Folt said. “He brings the passion of a former student activist along with decades of scholarship to bear on the issues of campus diversity, and we are delighted he will be leading our efforts.”
As part of Folt’s senior leadership team, the CIDO will have the support and the resources to build a framework for strategies, programs and initiatives that reinforce USC’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and belonging and to address ongoing challenges of discrimination and bias. Manning also will lead the university’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and work collaboratively with faculty, staff and student leaders across USC to deliver sustained, measurable improvements in educational and organizational environments.
In addition, he will take an active role in several of the diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives spearheaded by Folt already underway at the university, including the President and Provost’s Taskforce on Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Department of Public Safety Community Advisory Board.
Manning’s appointment comes after a search committee headed by Provost Charles Zukoski and Senior Vice President for Human Resources Felicia Washington sought extensive feedback from the USC community, which helped both to define the role and guide the four-month national search process.
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