The University of Missouri has hired its first ever chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, a position that was promised in November when the Columbia campus was embroiled in discord over a series of racist incidents.
At the time, the university's Board of Curators promised a string of coming changes centered on making the four campuses in Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City and Rolla more welcoming for minorities.
Some students at the University of Missouri-Columbia have complained that they've been subjected to numerous instances of racial hostility and don't feel welcome on campus.
Wednesday morning, the university's interim President, Michael Middleton, announced the hiring of Kevin McDonald to lead the system's diversity initiatives. The hiring becomes official June 1.
McDonald previously worked as the vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. Before that, he was vice president for equity and inclusion at Virginia Tech.
In Columbia, McDonald will be in charge of creating policies to identify and address systemic issues related to diversity. He will also serve as an adviser to the UM system president.