PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — After playing a key role in supporting the launch of Brown University’s pioneering diversity and inclusion action plan, Vice President for Academic Development, Diversity and Inclusion Liza Cariaga-Lo will step down from her full-time role this summer to pursue an independent education initiative.
Cariaga-Lo has led Brown’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) since arriving at Brown in 2013. Effective June 1, she will work part-time for a year in Brown’s Office of the Provost while completing work on a book project and launching an independent initiative addressing issues of equity and access to higher education in other parts of the world.
Shontay Delalue, Brown’s assistant provost for global engagement and director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, will become the interim head of OIDI while a national search is conducted for Cariaga-Lo’s successor.
“Liza has played an essential role in advancing diversity and inclusion efforts at Brown during a period of important self-reflection, refocused commitment and action,” President Christina Paxson said. “Her passionate dedication helped Brown lay the foundation for our ongoing work to become the unified community that we aspire to be.”
As Brown’s senior officer charged with oversight of the University’s diversity and inclusion efforts, Cariaga-Lo worked in partnership with the offices of the president and the provost to support the February 2016 launch of Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University. Known as the DIAP, the action plan calls on academic and administrative units across campus to develop department-level plans to ensure progress on such goals as increasing diversity among faculty and staff, enhancing diversity among students, creating a learning environment where all students can thrive, and committing to the highest standards of education and research, informed by a diversity of perspectives.
Cariaga-Lo’s part-time work over the next year will serve as an extension of her current efforts to support Brown’s academic departments in implementing initiatives in support of the DIAP’s goals. She will focus on creating academic pipelines (helping young, diverse scholars to become faculty), expanding professional development opportunities, and conducting qualitative studies of climate around diversity and inclusion.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Liza to advance our academic excellence by cultivating an inclusive and engaging community of diverse scholars at Brown,” Provost Richard M. Locke said. “Through her ongoing involvement, we will drive continued momentum and sustainable progress toward our diversity and inclusion goals, benefitting from her knowledge, experience and history of accomplishments.”
Cariaga-Lo arrived at Brown as the associate provost for academic development, diversity and inclusion. She was named in 2014 to the vice president role reporting to Paxson.
Among her many accomplishments, Cariaga-Lo developed and implemented programs to build academic pipelines, including through Brown’s Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellows program. She also oversaw the development of a comprehensive, University-wide Title IX policy to address issues of gender-based harassment and violence; established the National Diversity and Inclusion Summit, which has brought critical thought leaders to Brown to address issues of diversity and inclusion in higher education; and supported the creation of numerous events, programs and networks serving historically underrepresented groups within the Brown campus community. In addition, Cariaga-Lo engaged alumni beyond campus through alumni groups working on diversity and inclusion issues.
“In my four and a half years at Brown, I'm most proud of the ways in which the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion has expanded its ability to work on the ground to address the individual and collective needs of students, faculty, staff and alumni who brought forward diversity and inclusion concerns,” Cariaga-Lo said.
Cariaga-Lo has especially valued the day-to-day interactions and meetings with individual members of the Brown community, she added. These interactions fueled her passion to partner with other scholars on an independent project to address equity and access for women and marginalized populations in Southeast Asia. She expects to commit to this work and a book project full time after completing her part-time work in the provost’s office next year.
“The partnerships and collaborations with so many hard-working and committed administrators and faculty at Brown has truly been a privilege to have been a part of,” Cariaga-Lo said. “Their stories and their actions have inspired me every day.”
Before arriving at Brown, Cariaga-Lo served as assistant provost for faculty development and diversity at Harvard. She previously served at Yale as assistant dean of the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, director of the Office for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, and as a faculty member in Yale’s medical school.
The University will launch the national search for Cariaga-Lo’s successor this summer.