Eliot Circular

Reed Appoints First Dean for Institutional Diversity

Professor Williams will promote "multitude of voices."

Associate professor and award-winning poet Crystal Ann Williams [creative writing 2000–] has been appointed Reed’s first dean for institutional diversity.

Crystal Williams

Crystal Williams
Photo by Owen Carey

“I’m looking forward to working with Crystal in the coming year to develop and strengthen diversity programs at Reed,” said President Colin Diver. “She 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 is a multitude of voices at the conference table,” she says. “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 environment it can be.”

The job is not about changing percentages, she says. “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.”

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, and hopes to continue teaching as often as her new role allows.