From its inception, Boston University has strived to open its doors to all regardless of race and gender. Today, we aim for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) because we know that diversity—of people, ideas, experiences, and approaches to problem-solving—leads to excellence. This pledge is one of five pillars in the University’s 2030 Strategic Plan.
University President Robert A. Brown established the position of Senior Diversity Officer (SDO) in August 2020 as protests against systemic racism and police brutality placed a spotlight on longstanding racial disparities around the globe. The SDO builds on the University’s many existing DEI efforts, from the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground’s work to promote unity among students, to the Provost’s initiatives to improve faculty recruitment and make BU affordable for all.
The appointment of Andrea L. Taylor as Senior Diversity Officer—reporting directly to the President and working closely with the Board of Trustees—places diversity among the University’s top priorities. While many campus units have leaders and teams aiming to increase DEI in their areas of influence, the SDO focuses on policy changes that are coordinated, consistent, and consequential across the entire institution.
As BU’s inaugural senior diversity officer, Taylor (COM’68) chairs the University’s Antiracism Working Group and connects and supports a broad range of DEI activities.
Her long history with the University—as a BU graduate and a longtime trustee—combined with her professional experience leading social justice efforts uniquely qualify her to lead BU’s DEI efforts.
— Senior Diversity Officer Andrea L. Taylor —
Boston University was the first in the nation to admit women to medical school and award a Ph.D. to a woman. The Jim Crow era that extended into the Civil Rights Movement attracted many African Americans to BU in pursuit of higher education. Martin Luther King. Jr. (STH 1955), perhaps BU’s most well-known graduate, completed his training during the tenure of Howard Thurman, distinguished theologian and the first African American Dean of Chapel at a leading university. Today, as a deadly pandemic threatens the world, exposing long-standing racial and social justice inequities, BU is committed to making profound changes to reflect the diversity of the nation.