Campus News

National Leader Named UK Vice President for Institutional Diversity

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2021) — A national leader with more than 25 years of experience at some of the country’s leading institutions has been selected as the University of Kentucky’s next vice president for institutional diversity, UK President Eli Capilouto announced Thursday.

Katrice A. Albert, Ph.D., will begin her duties as vice president for institutional diversity on Sept. 27, Capilouto said in announcing the appointment to the UK campus Thursday morning.

“Dr. Albert brings decades of experience and a longstanding reputation as a national leader in efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion as well as community engagement at some of the country’s leading institutions of higher education,” Capilouto wrote. “She also brings extensive experience in training, development and strategy, working with colleges and universities of all sizes as well as leading private, for-profit and nonprofit sector companies.

We are fortunate that someone with her background and leadership skills — along with a clear passion for and commitment to serving students — is joining our institution. After a year of laying a strong foundation and achieving tangible accomplishments, we’ve reached a pivotal moment in our efforts to create a community of belonging for everyone. I’m looking forward to the next steps we will take with Dr. Albert helping lead our efforts.”

“It is a great honor to join the Big Blue Nation," Albert said. "Kentucky has ambitious and audacious diversity, equity and inclusion goals. I am thrilled to be in partnership with the ongoing efforts of creating and enhancing a culture of belonging. Dr. Capilouto is the definition of an inclusive leader, champion of diversity and way-maker in higher education. I am humbled by the faith and confidence placed me by the board of trustees and Dr. Capilouto to grow collectively with the UK community and build upon the solid foundation established and claim victory on our inclusive excellence goals.”

Highlights of Albert’s more than 25-year career in leading diversity and education efforts include:

  • Serving as the top diversity officer and a senior executive at Louisiana State University and the University of Minnesota system as well as the NCAA, where she also led Human Resources.
  • Authoring two volumes of work around issues of race, racial equity and mental health. She is the author of a forthcoming work on leadership in intercollegiate athletics.
  • Serving on the editorial board of the Journal of Community Engagement. Albert also has been published in other academic journals related to psychology, counseling and development.
  • Teaching graduate-level courses in multicultural counseling, the politics of race and gender, and serving as an adjunct faculty member in education at LSU.
  • Consulting with some of the leading governmental, civic, religious, private, public and nonprofit sector institutions throughout the country on issues of diversity, development and strategy. Clients have included: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, American Red Cross, the Neiman Marcus Group and the Universities of Notre Dame, Nebraska, West Florida and Central Florida.

Some of the country’s leading higher education and private sector executives praised Albert’s work and commitment to students and collaboration.

“I am delighted that Dr. Albert is joining UK as the vice president of the Office for Institutional Diversity,” said Eric Kaler, current president of Case Western Reserve University and former president of the University of Minnesota, where Albert served. “She is a visionary leader who brings a wealth of experience working with underserved and diverse communities, a deep understanding of the land-grant mission and a strong focus on assessment and accountability … There are few leaders in the country of the caliber of Dr. Albert.”

Similarly, Brad Brezinski, managing director and chief strategy officer for S2A, a management and strategy consultancy where Albert currently serves as the executive vice president of culture, innovation and conclusion, described UK’s new vice president for institutional diversity as a “forward-thinking champion for those in the margins who have much more to contribute than they do opportunities to pursue.”

“On behalf of our entire team, we want to wish Dr. Albert and Big Blue Nation all the best in what the future has to offer,Brezinski said.

Albert said she was looking forward to joining UK, particularly at this moment, as the institution is engaged in a broad-based and expansive effort around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

“Inclusive excellence is a path forward for all of us,” Albert said. “Diversity, equity, inclusion, engagement, accessibility and creating a culture of belonging is everyone’s everyday work. I’m very excited to be a part of this journey with you. I’m looking forward to listening, learning, growing and leading.”

This past year, some 500 members of the UK community engaged in more than a dozen projects, ranging from investments in research around structural racism issues to creating more diverse and accessible spaces, places and facilities across the campus.

You can read more about UK’s DEI efforts here: https://dei.uky.edu/.

You can read Capilouto’s message to the campus about Albert here.

 

photo of Katrice Albert
Katrice A. Albert, Ph.D. will begin her duties as vice president for institutional diversity at UK on Sept. 27.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.