Walker to take over as interim vice provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion

Walker to take over as interim vice provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion

Sarah Walker, PhD, associate professor in Creighton University’s Heider College of Business, is now serving as interim vice provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. She began her new role March 22. “One of the things that I would really like to do in this role is try to align all of the diversity and inclusion efforts that we have across the University,” Walker says. “There are things going on in the medical school, the law school, other parts of the University, and I’d like to find out what synergies we have and discover ways that we can be most effective and efficient with our resources.” Walker, an associate professor of management, is filling the role left by Christopher M. Whitt, PhD, who left the University in March after accepting a position at the University of Denver. Creighton has launched a comprehensive and thorough search for a permanent replacement and aims to have the position filled by Jan. 1, 2022. “Dr. Walker brings exceptional credentials and experience to the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion,” says Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD. “I look forward to her leadership and expertise as we as a University build upon our recent advances in this important work, which has intensified in the last year, and as we continue to move purposefully forward in becoming an anti-racist institution.” Walker’s research interests include examining the experiences of marginalized individuals at work with a specific focus on individual and organizational-level strategies for creating more equitable workplaces. She remains an active researcher and has published in a variety of journals throughout her career, including the Journal of Business and Psychology; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Industrial and Organizational Psychology Perspectives; and the Journal of Applied Psychology. Walker’s background in industrial-organizational psychology provides her specific expertise in diversity, recruitment, selection, training, testing and measurement. While earning her PhD, Walker worked as a consultant for Valtera Corporation (now Corporate Executive Board) on projects related to personnel selection and training. Prior to joining Creighton University in 2018, Walker served as an associate professor in the Marilyn Davies College of Business at the University of Houston – Downtown (UHD) for 10 years. While at UHD, she co-authored two federally funded grants which resulted in $1.1 million awarded to the institution. The federally funded grants were designed to increase opportunities for underrepresented minorities in graduate degree programs. With a background in business and academia, Walker says she hopes to take a datadriven approach to evaluating some of Creighton’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, examining whether certain initiatives result in individual reports of better overall experiences at the University, among other metrics. Walker says she understands the gravity of stepping into this new role now, particularly in the wake of public discussions sparked by recent comments made by men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott. “My philosophy is, I believe in restorative justice. We are a Catholic, Jesuit institution. If there’s a place where we can have grace and mercy and create a context for restorative justice, it’s here,” she says. “In college, you’re supposed to learn how to work with other people. When they make mistakes, when you make mistakes, how do we repair those relationships and move forward from that? Creighton is the perfect place to learn that important life skill. Can we be better? Yes. Should we be better? Yes. My hope is that, stepping into this role, I can help shape that.”

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