This article was originally published on the UConn Today Web site on June 8, 2012.
By: Stefanie Dion Jones
Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar, professor of history and associate dean for the humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been appointed the University’s vice provost for diversity, after a national search. The appointment is effective June 11.
“We are very excited about Dr. Ogbar’s appointment as the vice provost for diversity,” said Mun Choi, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, who announced the appointment yesterday. “He is an internationally renowned scholar with deep expertise in employing diversity as a contextual vehicle to promote research and teaching. Under his leadership, new diversity programs will be introduced to further enhance our academic community of scholars and learners.”
Ogbar arrived at the University in 1997 as an assistant professor of history. From 2003 to 2009, he served as director of the Institute for African American Studies and, in 2009, he was appointed associate dean for the humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
In his new role, Ogbar will serve as chief diversity officer for the University, advising the President and Provost on diversity policies, initiatives, and issues. He will work to increase and advance efforts University-wide to recruit, develop, retain, and engage a diverse team of faculty, staff, and students with varied backgrounds and perspectives.
Salome Raheim, dean of the School of Social Work and co-chair of the Provost’s Commission on Institutional Diversity, who co-chaired the search committee, says Ogbar was selected from a broad and diverse national pool of candidates.
“As a nationally and internationally recognized scholar in areas related to diversity, Dr. Ogbar brings the intellectual leadership needed to engage the University’s constituents in endeavors that will advance our diversity,” says Raheim. “As an experienced academic leader, he has the ability to work collaboratively and build consensus, which will be important in this new role. … I look forward to working with Dr. Ogbar to advance our institution’s diversity goals.”
Ogbar says, “As a major research university, UConn has a charge to develop the best that a high-quality education can offer our students in preparing them for a diverse world. Additionally, our faculty, curriculum, and staff should reflect the wider world in which we live. And to that end, as a university, we aim to enrich our own communities, state, and world in important ways. Having sophisticated perspectives is essential to that end. I’m very pleased to be able to play a central role in helping shape this effort.”
Ogbar’s research interests include the 20th-century United States with a focus on African American history, black nationalism, and social protest. He has held fellowships at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, and the Africana studies program at the University of Miami. His latest book is an edited volume, The Harlem Renaissance Revisited: Politics, Arts and Letters (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010).
He has published numerous articles, book chapters, and other books, including Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap (University Press of Kansas, 2007), which was awarded the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize in 2008. He received his Ph.D. and MA from Indiana University in Bloomington and a BA with honors from Morehouse College in Atlanta.