Fenves announces interim vice president for diversity and community engagement


Tristan Davantes

President Fenves announced Tuesday that Leonard Moore will fill the role of interim vice president of diversity and community engagement starting July 17.

Moore is taking the place of Gregory J. Vincent, current VP for diversity and community engagement, who is stepping down to become the president for his alma mater, Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

“As a scholar, Dr. Moore has examined the intersections of race, history and politics in groundbreaking ways,” Fenves said in an email to the UT community. “As a teacher, he has challenged UT students to understand their world, to answer difficult questions and to seek truth in their studies and in their lives.”
Erica Saenz, associate vice president of diversity and community engagement, said she supports Moore’s nomination.

“Because along with his two publications, he has been a faculty member at UT since 2007, as well as a history teacher at UT,” Saenz said. “Dr. Moore has served as the senior associate vice president of diversity and community engagement since 2013, where he manages a vast number of programs and initiatives.“

Moore has taught classes such as the Black Power Movement and Race in the Age of Obama, Saenz said.

At the start of the academic year, UT plans on conducting a nationwide search for someone who can fill the permanent position.

As the division of diversity and community engagement goes through this transition period, members of the DDCE see the importance of moving forward with its current agenda. Specifically, they plan to continue the implementation of the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan that will come into effect for the next academic year.

With Moore as one of the coordinators, the action plan promotes the integration and diversification of the UT community by addressing specific issues one-on-one.

“People are bringing different perspectives and backgrounds that promote learning for all students,” Vincent said. “We know that makes for a more robust community. The challenge is it exacerbates differences, and we have to manage how we deal with those differences…  Unfortunately, we’re seeing some elements that want to divide us, so we have to squarely address those issues.”

To make for a more inclusive environment on campus, Vincent emphasized Fenves’ plan on strengthening the new Hate and Bias Incident Policy, which was implemented in March to prohibit acts of prejudice and intolerance.

“It’s good to debate, whether it’s political issues or other legitimate issues,” Vincent said. “What’s not legitimate is calling someone out and making them feel ‘less-than’ because of their immutable characteristics.”