12 Mar Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion addresses USAC
Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer James Page, Jr. Addresses USAC
USAC welcomed James Page, Jr., Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, at its September 2018 meeting. Page joined the University in August 2018 and will work closely with the chancellor and senior administration to cultivate a campus community that embraces the values of equity, diversity and inclusion.
Page’s 20-year career reflects an analytic and quantifiable approach to diversity and inclusion, and his remarks addressed the importance of an institutionally aligned approach to these issues. After prompting attendees to consider local and national organizations that have not managed diversity well, he highlighted ways organizations fail when they do not approach these issues as a strategic imperative.
The losses can be financial—organizations have collectively spent billions of dollars to address these oversights—and they can be long-lasting as clients, customers, students and patients continue to show preferences for organizations that continually earn their trust and are aligned with their values, mission, and vision.
As a function of organizational responsibility, Page also spoke to the importance of leaders recognizing their own implicit biases when building teams. Pointing to our innate inclination to trust people we identify with, Page shared the following observation:
“The easiest way to make a weak leader fail is to give them a diverse team because the different styles, the different family structures, the different work preferences, the different languages, the different hours and shifts are going to make that person really struggle and that weakness is going to collapse.
The quickest way to make a successful leader succeed is to give them a diverse team because they are going to see all of those differences and they are going to figure out a way to pull them together to create an incredible symphony of some sort.”
As he continues to get settled into the University, Page invites members of the community to reach out to him with information about what is important to them and the things he should know.
A video of the presentation can be found via the USAC website and more information about the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion can be found here.