After 22 years of leadership that has greatly impacted students, faculty and staff across campus, Gretchel Hathaway, dean of Diversity and Inclusion and chief diversity officer, will be leaving Union for a senior-level position at Franklin & Marshall, a private liberal arts college in Lancaster, Pa.
She will assume the role of vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at F&M, a new position.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Gretchel and one she could not pass up, both professionally and personally,” said President David R. Harris. “Based on her experiences at Union, she is uniquely qualified to lead in this new position.”
Hathaway’s last day at Union is Aug. 3.
As a member of senior staff, Hathaway has led strategic campus-wide diversity initiatives, helping to create a number of innovative and impactful programs. This includes a diversity and inclusion course offered to all employees that is designed to expand one’s knowledge of issues related to diversity, and broaden the campus learning environment beyond the classroom.
Hathaway supervises the Office of Intercultural Affairs, which focuses on designing programming and workshops for students. She has also been instrumental in implementing the College’s affirmative action policy and developing procedures for grievance and mediation settlements. She serves on the review board of all faculty tenure and promotion cases.
Hathaway’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has been key to the College being honored for six straight years with a HEED (Higher Education Excellence in Diversity) Award by Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
“I have appreciated Gretchel’s counsel, her professionalism and her ability to connect with people across campus,” Harris said. “She has been a mentor to many students, offering them guidance and a shoulder at times when they most needed it. We will all miss her greatly.”
Hathaway joined Union in 1998. She has served in a number of key roles, including director of Affirmative Action, Community Outreach, and the Science and Technology Entry Program. In 2008, she became the first African-American to join senior staff, as senior director for Campus Diversity and Affirmative Action.
Hathaway’s new position brings her closer to family. Her son is a member of F&M’s Class of 2007.
Following Hathaway’s departure, Union will proceed with a team approach to diversity and inclusion leadership, Harris said.
“Based on my experience at previous institutions and the experience of others, I am confident that the team approach can yield deeper and broader change than can typically be accomplished by any one individual,” he said.
Several new individuals will be identified to lead campus diversity and inclusion efforts. In addition, Christa Grant, assistant dean of Diversity and Inclusion, will serve as a member of the team. She will move to the Division of Student Affairs.
The College’s commitment to the President’s Initiative on Race, Power, and Privilege will not change, Harris emphasized. He will join the steering committee and serve as its chair.
“I look forward to working with this group to identify and implement meaningful and sustainable change in how we teach, learn, reflect and act on matters of race, power and privilege,” he said.
Plans to honor Hathaway in her final weeks at Union will be forthcoming.