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Cynthia Pickett appointed associate provost for diversity, equity and inclusion

Cynthia Pickett appointed associate provost for diversity, equity and inclusion
(Image courtesy of Michael D. Lyons Photography)
​​Following a national search, Interim Provost Salma Ghanem announced today, May 14, Dr. Cynthia Pickett will serve as DePaul's associate provost for diversity, equity and inclusion in the Office of Academic Affairs. Pickett is currently the associate vice-provost for faculty equity and inclusion, as well as an associate professor of psychology, at the University of California, Davis. Her appointment will begin July 1.

“In addition to her research experience as a social psychologist, Cynthia has a history of developing and implementing diversity, equity and inclusion programs in a higher education setting," Ghanem says. “Her compelling vision and passion for collaboration will enable our university to create a welcoming and respectful environment that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion as dimensions of academic excellence."  

As associate provost, Pickett will partner with diversity, equity and inclusion leaders in DePaul's colleges, schools and administrative areas. In addition to providing leadership and counsel, she will help infuse diversity into the academic curriculum. She also will strengthen efforts to recruit, develop and retain a diverse faculty.

“I have a particular interest in developing new and innovative ways of supporting faculty throughout their academic career," Pickett says. “I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the DePaul community to create networks and systems of support that extend beyond traditional mentoring and professional development models."

In her current role at University of California, Davis, Pickett oversees all Academic Senate faculty hiring and conducts salary equity studies for both senate and non-senate academic appointees. She has helped launch pilot efforts to retool the hiring and recruitment process. As a psychologist, she has spent her career teaching and studying topics such as social identity, inclusion and belonging, as well as intergroup relations. She is a former Faculty Seed Grant Fellow of the University of California All-Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity. She also serves as a trustee for the Davis Joint Unified School District.

Prior to the University of California, Davis, Pickett was an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has a doctorate in social psychology from The Ohio State University. She earned a bachelor's in psychology from Stanford University.

Pickett will succeed Ruben Parra, a professor of computational chemistry, who has served as the interim associate provost for diversity and inclusion at DePaul since July 2019. During his tenure, Parra launched the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Grant to create opportunities for the university community to engage with issues of diversity, equity and inclusion on campus. Full-time faculty members can apply for up to $2,000 in grant funding through the program.

“In everything Ruben does, he demonstrates a personal commitment to upholding DePaul's values," Ghanem says. “I remain grateful for the ingenuity he has exhibited throughout his interim appointment and appreciate all he has done for the DePaul community."