After a nationwide search, Shavonne Shorter has been named associate provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at University of Mary Washington. She will assume the role in January.
Shorter will serve on both the president’s and provost’s leadership teams, providing guidance as UMW continues striving to achieve its goals with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion. She will be responsible for developing a university-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, and continuing the work of building a more inclusive Mary Washington. She also will supervise the university’s Office of Disability Resources, Office of Title IX, SafeZone and all diversity education and training programs.
“I am most looking forward to partnering with the members of my new UMW family to continue and extend the rich legacy of diversity, equity and inclusion excellence both on and around campus. This is what immediately drew me to UMW,” Shorter said. “I look forward to the opportunity to conduct a campus-wide listening tour as I get to work for the good of the university.”
She comes to Mary Washington from Bloomsburg University, where she currently serves as Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and is a tenured faculty member in the Department of Communication Studies. During her time at Bloomsburg, she led a number of initiatives within the university and across the Pennsylvania state system. As the faculty co-chair of the President’s Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Shorter led a team to build and execute a university-wide diversity, equity and inclusion plan. She also designed and facilitated a diversity, equity and inclusion training initiative to increase knowledge, understanding and advocacy throughout Bloomsburg University.
A native of Maryland and a former McNair Scholar, Shorter holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Frostburg State University and master’s and doctoral degrees in communication from Purdue University. She has taught a variety of courses, including intercultural communication, nonprofit communication and small group communication.
Her past work includes directing the Frederick Douglass Institute for Academic Excellence and chairing the Mid-Atlantic LGBTQA Conference. She is the project lead for the Inclusive Future Faculty Initiative, which was developed in response to her dissertation on the topic, designed as a means of diversifying the professoriate.
“We are so excited to have Dr. Shorter join our community,” said UMW President Troy Paino. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role, and her enthusiasm and energy for this important work will lift us all as we strive together to live our ASPIRE values and realize our vision of a more diverse and inclusive Mary Washington.”