Elmhurst University Names Inaugural Vice President for Equity and Inclusion

October 25, 2021 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Elmhurst University announced on Oct. 25 that, after a nationwide search, Bruce King will join the University to serve as its inaugural vice president for equity and inclusion.

King currently is the associate vice chancellor for racial equity­­ at City Colleges of Chicago. Before that, he worked for 13 years at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, where he served as vice president for equity and inclusion, assistant to the president and chief diversity officer.

“I was impressed by the depth and breadth of Bruce’s experience in diversity, equity and inclusion work,” said President Troy D. VanAken. “His core belief in the ability of higher education to provide transformative opportunities and experiences to students will make him an excellent fit for our campus.”

King says he was drawn to Elmhurst by its student-centered focus and academic approach.

“Elmhurst University has really thought about how you connect a traditional liberal arts education to the professional world—to career and vocation,” he said. “The University also understands its relation to Chicago, and the potential of harvesting benefits and opportunities from that relationship. In many ways, this role for me is just ideal.”

He is eager to begin building relationships on campus, and will look into the creation of an established multicultural space for Elmhurst’s diverse student body. “I want to create spaces where people can connect with their identities, and connect who they are with where they’re going to school—everyone should find their place here,” he said.

King has led diversity, equity and inclusion work in higher education for more than three decades. At City Colleges, he worked across the seven-college system to build the equitable framework needed to serve Chicago’s diverse communities.

At St. Olaf, he served as a member of the President’s Leadership Team, providing strategic insight and management for college policy and practice on inclusion, equity and diversity across the campus. He also worked with the human resources, enrollment and academic affairs offices to facilitate the recruitment and retention of a more diverse faculty, staff and student body.

King also has worked at the University of South Dakota, Carleton College, Lake Forest College, Wesleyan University, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and Hope College. He earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa, and his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University.

King will begin his role at Elmhurst in early January of 2022.

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