DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Elizabeth Ortiz, Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity vice president, to retire

Elizabeth Ortiz, Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity vice president, to retire

Liz Ortiz speaks at the President's book club.
Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity Elizabeth Ortiz last November. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

Elizabeth Ortiz will retire from DePaul on June 30 after serving as a senior executive of institutional diversity and equity for more than 20 years.

Ortiz joined DePaul in 2002 and became the inaugural vice president of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity in 2006. During her tenure, she has dedicated herself to promoting diversity and inclusion and building institutional capacity to address structural racism at DePaul.

"It has been an honor to serve the DePaul community these last 20 years. Working on diversity and equity in collaboration with others to live out our mission of social justice has been my passion and purpose of my life," Ortiz says. "I will miss everyone tremendously, but I know the work will continue. "

As vice president, Ortiz has worked with educators, policy leaders, community representatives and others committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. She has overseen DePaul's seven employee resource groups, chaired the President's Council on Diversity and developed the BUILD Diversity Certificate program, a professional development program that gives participants the building blocks to create an inclusive campus. In addition, she was responsible for the university's affirmative action plan, handling issues of discrimination and harassment.

Ortiz's most recent accomplishments include drafting DePaul's 2023 DEI Action Plan; assisting the Board of Trustees in developing a board DEIJ statement and incorporating DEI into a standing board committee; coordinating a committee to draft DePaul's land acknowledgment statement; and creating and executing the Presidential Diversity Fellows program at DePaul.

"Liz has been a trusted advisor on DePaul's diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy for me personally, and I am deeply grateful for the wise counsel she has provided since I joined the DePaul community," President Robert L. Manuel says. "In addition to serving as a vital partner within our university, Liz also has influenced DEI across the higher education landscape through her leadership and expertise. DePaul remains committed to building on the strong DEI foundation Liz constructed for our university, and I wish her well in her much-deserved retirement."

A nationally recognized leader, Ortiz has served a number of higher education and professional organizations. She currently serves on the board of Niagara University, is co-chair of the consortium of senior diversity officers in Catholic higher education of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities and public policy co-chair of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. Ortiz was also one of the contributing authors of NADOHE's "Framework to Advancing Anti-Racism Strategy on Campus."

Prior to DePaul, Ortiz was the director of affirmative action and diversity resources at Northern Illinois University. She earned her bachelor's degree from Calumet College and master's and doctorate degrees from Northern Illinois University.

Information about an interim appointment and a search for Ortiz's replacement will be shared w​​hen available.