To the Williams Community,
I am very excited to announce that after a national search the college has appointed Leticia Smith-Evans to the position of vice president for institutional diversity and equity. She will assume the position on July 1.
Leticia brings considerable experience in working to expand diversity and equity in educational settings, including from her current position as interim director of the Education Practice of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. At the LDF, where she’s served since 2008, she has worked both on the ground level with communities around the country that want or need to change and on managing the education practice of an organization that has played a historic role in the advancement of equity.
She also teaches on race, education, and the law at Penn Law School; speaks on these issues to audiences across the country; and is often quoted in national media.
Leticia earned her Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where her dissertation was titled No More Profiling in the Classroom: A Midsize Urban School District’s Efforts to Close the Achievement Gap. She also obtained her J.D. at Wisconsin. Many within the Williams community know her as a member of the Class of 1999 and an active member of the Williams Black Alumni Network.
After law school she clerked for the Honorable Dickinson Debevoise ’46 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and then was an associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP in New York City and Washington, D.C.
Her colleagues at LDF and elsewhere speak powerfully of Leticia’s ability to advocate change, think strategically, build relationships, and roll up her sleeves to get things done.
I’m very much looking forward to welcoming her as she begins to re-immerse herself into our community. She’ll be joined in that by her husband Antony Haynes and their infant daughter Kylee.
My deep thanks go to the Search Committee, whose members are listed below, for their extensive and careful work. This involved soliciting college community members’ aspirations for this position, building a strong national pool, selecting from it four finalists, and sharing with me their close observations of each. Thanks go also to the many faculty, staff, and students who participated in the finalists’ visits and provided such valuable feedback on them.
It has all contributed to this splendid result.
Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity Search Committee:
Sarah Bolton, Dean of the College and Professor of Physics
Sevonna Brown ’15
Denise Buell, Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Religion
Twink Williams Burns, Associate Director of Admission for Diversity Recruitment
Matias Crespo ’15
Steve Klass, Vice President for Campus Life
Jim Kolesar, Vice President for Public Affairs (Chair)
David Richardson, Professor of Chemistry
D.L. Smith, Professor of English and Former Dean of the Faculty
Martha Tetrault, Director of Human Resources
Carmen Whalen, Professor of History and Latina/o Studies and Former Associate Dean for Institutional Diversity