Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today announced that Dr. Eugene Anderson will serve as the association’s first Vice President for External Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (EDEI). Anderson, who has served as APLU’s Vice President for Access and Success over the past four years, will work with all APLU staff to ensure the association’s work and ways in which it engages its members and partners incorporates and lives up to its values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“All of us at APLU know Dr. Anderson well for his work advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative and for his support of our 1890 land-grant members. It will be beneficial to have someone in this new role with his skillset, experience, and expertise,” McPherson said. “APLU has long been deeply committed to advancing work that lives up to our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and we are proud of the portfolio of our work, but we also recognize we can and need to do more to support our members and partners in this regard. Eugene will help us get that done. I am grateful that he has agreed to take on this important work, which will build on his current role in support of APLU and our members.”
“As recent events across the country have made clear, it’s imperative that we seize this moment to work together to strive and live up to the role of the public university as a place of social mobility, opportunity, and innovation for all persons. This will require APLU and its members to challenge ourselves to re-examine the way centuries of accumulated inequities are embedded in the social fabric of our institutions,” Anderson said. “I am pleased that so many in higher education are committed to addressing issues of systemic racism and building a more diverse and inclusive university community. As the membership association for public and land-grant universities across North America, APLU is uniquely positioned to help facilitate this work. I am honored to be in a position to help the association take the proactive steps with its members to deliver meaningful change that will help ensure our campuses are societal models for diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Some of the key tasks in which Anderson will be engaged include working with others at APLU to develop, implement and evaluate DEI goals for current and future member and program related work. This will involve coordinating the sharing of best DEI practices in member and program related work across the organization. He will also work with McPherson and other senior leaders to incorporate DEI values into the overall strategies and portfolio of APLU work, including new grant proposals and external communications. And importantly, he will work to build capacity of APLU staff to design and implement programs that promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
Anderson has served as Vice President for the Office of Access and Success since joining APLU in 2016. In addition to his new responsibilities, Anderson will continue to lead that office, which is being renamed the Office of External Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. That office has the responsibility for supporting the APLU Council of 1890 Universities and the Commission on Access, Diversity, and Excellence. The Council of 1890 Universities primarily addresses matters pertaining to strengthening teaching, research and extension programs at historically Black land-grant universities. The Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence seeks to develop a comprehensive agenda to broaden access and opportunity at all APLU member institutions, improve the quality of the undergraduate experience, and enhance diversity within student and faculty populations at public universities.
Through his role in that office, Anderson researched and authored a report that found despite significant gains in recent years, not enough African American and Hispanic students are earning engineering degrees in the United States to fill the growing demand for high tech workers. He is working on a similar NSF-funded report studying diversity in computer science programs.
Prior to joining APLU, Anderson served as the Chief Policy Officer and Managing Vice President at the American Dental Education Association and was formerly Associate Director of National Initiatives at the American Council on Education.
Anderson holds a doctorate in education policy from the University of Virginia and a baccalaureate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of several advisory committees, including the American Council on Education Advisory Committee for the Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education Status Report and Diversity and the Law Advisory Committee (EdCounsel and the College Board).