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Reed Hires Crystal Ann Williams as Dean for Institutional Diversity

Portland Ore (July 18, 2011)--Reed College associate professor of creative writing and award winning poet Crystal Ann Williams has been appointed as Reed College’s first dean for institutional diversity. She began her post July 1. Williams hopes to continue teaching as often as her new role allows.

“I’m looking forward to working with Crystal in the coming year to develop and strengthen diversity programs at Reed,” said President Colin Diver. “Crystal has worked tirelessly to promote institutional diversity since arriving at Reed in 2000. She has, in short, been doing many of the very tasks that the position of Dean has been created to undertake, and doing them extremely well.”

Williams sees the position as promoting the fundamental mission of the college. “Reed is a rigorous academic environment that is enriched and deepened when there are a multitude of voices at the conference table,” says Williams. “I am incredibly honored to be appointed to this position which formalizes work I so strongly believe in and which will allow me to work with faculty, students, and staff to help identify ways to ensure that Reed is the most inclusive and dynamic learning and working environment it can be.”

Williams says the job is not about changing percentages. “We are interested in changing the culture to one that is fully inclusive and understands why a more diverse Reed creates a better learning environment for all students.”

It is Williams’ intention to use this first year to thoroughly assess Reed’s strategic efforts in becoming a more diverse and inclusive institution so that its path moving forward is clear. “There is a tremendous amount at stake,” she said. “I want to spend this year building relationships, allegiances, and supporting those among us who are already involved in serving low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented populations. And I want to develop lasting relationships both internally and externally that will aid us as we move into the next hundred years of Reed history.”

From an administrative standpoint, Williams is also looking forward to deepening strategic partnerships in Portland and in the region and building professional relationships nationally. “Reed is an extraordinary institution and I believe very strongly in our academic mission. So I’m especially eager to introduce best practices tailored to our unique academic environment.”

Williams has been teaching at Reed since 2000. She has a BA from New York University and an MFA from Cornell University.  She is the author of three collections of poems, most recently Troubled Tongues.


Kevin Myers, Reed Spokesperson, 503-517-7815