Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

I am pleased to introduce Sean C. Garrick as the first vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His appointment will be effective Aug. 1, pending approval by the Board of Trustees.

Dr. Garrick is currently the associate vice provost in the office for equity and diversity at the University of Minnesota, where he leads initiatives designed to recruit, retain and sustain a diverse community of scholars. As the director of the University of Minnesota Institute for Diversity, Equity and Advocacy, he leads efforts to engage faculty members whose scholarship focuses on diverse, underrepresented or marginalized populations.

Dr. Garrick has been instrumental in creating and overseeing dynamic programs that recruit, retain and advance the success of diverse students and faculty at all five University of Minnesota campuses. His commitment to increasing student interest and persistence in STEM fields began when he was in graduate school, and he currently works with an interdisciplinary group of faculty and staff focused on middle school interventions designed to increase the number of students enrolling in college.

He is also an accomplished scholar and a professor of mechanical engineering with a research focus on chemically reacting flows, particle formation and growth, and turbulent, multiphase flows. Dr. Garrick holds three degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo—a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.

I want to thank the search committee, co-chaired by Vice Chancellor Danita Brown Young and Dean James Anderson, for its careful work in recruiting and evaluating an outstanding selection of applicants and in guiding the search process over the past months. I also want to express my gratitude to each of you in the campus community who offered advice and honest feedback about the final candidates.

When I began as chancellor at Illinois, I said that I believed hiring a vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion was critical to our success. Dr. Garrick has the passion, experience and leadership necessary to integrate our robust and numerous diversity and inclusion efforts into innovative strategies and practices that enhance these efforts and embed them into every aspect of our missions.

I want to express my deep appreciation to Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barcelo for her service and leadership as special assistant to the chancellor for diversity and for establishing a strong foundation that allowed us to attract a leader of Dr. Garrick’s caliber.

I hope you will join me in congratulating Dr. Garrick once he arrives on campus in his new role at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Robert J. Jones

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