CSUSM to Welcome New Chief Diversity Officer
Cal State San Marcos President Ellen Neufeldt announced the appointment of Dr. Aswad Allen as the university’s next chief diversity officer.
Allen currently serves as the inaugural chief diversity officer at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kan. Reporting directly to the president, he serves as the university’s chief diversity and inclusion adviser and strategist, and works collaboratively with internal and external campus communities to develop an open, diverse, inclusive and supportive learning and working environment, with a specific focus on underrepresented and marginalized populations.
“Dr. Allen brings with him an excellent reputation as a higher education thought leader on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion,” Neufeldt said. “At this historic moment, as we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and the many interrelated crises, I have great confidence that Dr. Allen’s background, skills and vision are exactly what we need at CSUSM to strengthen our efforts to create a more caring, inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community.”
The chief diversity officer reports directly to President Neufeldt and is a member of the President’s Administrative Team. Operating within an environment of shared responsibility, the CDO works collaboratively with internal and external campus stakeholders to advance and be an advocate for inclusive excellence and equity. Leading the Office of Inclusive Excellence, the CDO provides direct leadership to three professional staff, several faculty associates and student assistants.
“I am both excited and honored to join the Cal State San Marcos family in creating an inclusive culture dedicated to our students and their success,” Allen said. “I extend acknowledgements, gratitude and homage to the many laborers who preceded me, offering recognition to those who were toiling the soil of institutional change long before we considered the value and richness of the traditionally marginalized voices in the process. In the immediate months ahead, I look forward to listening, learning and partnering with as many members of the CSUSM community as possible to accomplish the goal of creating an inclusive and healthy working and learning environment that promotes social mobility and student success for all.”
“I have appreciated greatly Dr. Allen’s ability to listen to differing voices during forums and meetings, then quietly synthesize the messages we discussed and help guide us to next steps,” Emporia State President Allison D. Garrett said. “We have learned much from him during his time at Emporia State University and will continue his work here as he shares his professional expertise and personal experiences with the CSUSM community.”
Allen earned a doctorate in educational leadership and human resources and a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education administration from Colorado State University. He has bachelor’s degrees in sociology and psychology from the University of Colorado Boulder.