Barker named inaugural vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion

Marco Barker
Marco Barker

Marco Barker is the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s inaugural vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion. He will also hold an associate professor of practice appointment in educational administration. He will join the campus on April 1.

“Our search committee did an outstanding job, and I want to thank Professor Kwame Dawes for his leadership,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “Dr. Barker is going to do great things at the university. I’m excited for him to join our team and be a member of the chancellor's cabinet.”

Barker comes to Nebraska having served in diversity leadership roles at Westminster College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Louisiana State University. In his current position at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, he created a diversity infrastructure for one of Utah’s most diverse institutions of higher education. He was the inaugural associate vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion and the college’s chief diversity officer. His many initiatives focused on strengthening diversity and inclusion programming and capacity for change, coordinating inclusive excellence efforts, building community relations with affinity groups and agencies, and leading diversity strategic planning. Prior to his role at Westminster, Barker was senior director for education, operation and initiatives for diversity and multicultural affairs and clinical professor of education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At Louisiana State University, he was director of educational equity and assistant to the vice provost.

“Having a diverse campus community — students, faculty and staff — is key to being a world-class institution, and I am proud of our university’s efforts thus far. We’re poised for greatness, and Marco’s leadership will help move us forward,” said Donde Plowman, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. “I’m confident that he will lead us toward inclusive excellence and advance the mission in our teaching, research and service.”

Barker will lead the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and work with campus partners and allies to shape the university’s vision, strategic planning and advocacy toward fostering an inclusive, equitable and welcoming campus. Collaborating across campus, the office will shape the policies, protocols and practices needed to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in recruitment, retention, education and research efforts across the university. He will work in close partnership with campus leaders and university groups and strengthen relationships with the local community.

The vice chancellor reports to the executive vice chancellor/chief academic officer and serves on the chancellor’s cabinet, reporting progress on annual metrics on diversity and inclusion to the chancellor.

“When I read about the 150 Commission’s work and the university’s analysis of its diversity efforts, it was evident how much Nebraska saw diversity and inclusion as a growing priority.” Barker said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to create and lead this inaugural office and work with the campus and extended communities to position diversity, inclusion and equity for the next 150 years. I invite others to join me in this journey.”

A certified qualified administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory, Barker earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas, Master of Business Administration from Webster University and doctoral degree in educational leadership and research from Louisiana State University.

The university’s search was supported by Greenwood/Asher and Associates.

Nebraska Today