After a yearlong search, Ariana González Stokas, TC ‘10, will serve as the first ever Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, President Sian Beilock announced in an email Thursday morning.
Stokas comes to Barnard from Bard College, where she currently serves as the Dean for Inclusive Excellence, which oversees diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives for students, faculty, and staff at Bard. She received her PhD in Philosophy Education in philosophy and education from Columbia University Teachers College in 2010.
This announcement follows a year long search by an advisory committee of students, faculty, and staff led by Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development Monica Miller. The creation of the position was recommended by the President’s Task Force last year, and the search began shortly afterwards.
As vice president, Stokas will create and lead the campus’s office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and be in charge for hires for this staff. She will also chair the College’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion, established in 2017, and in this role will develop an overarching plan to implement initiatives from the President’s Task Force focused on issues including equity in the classroom, diverse faculty recruitment, and campus events on related topics.
Additionally, she will convene a cabinet to identify policies, structures, and practices that support the recruitment, retention, and success of diverse faculty, administrators, staff, and students. The cabinet will consist of all Barnard diversity, equity, and inclusion coordinators, including the dean of faculty diversity and development, the associate dean of student life, the executive director for equity, and the the College ombuds office. Stokas will report directly to President Beilock.
Although Barnard currently has positions focused on diversity and inclusion for students, faculty, and staff individually, Stokas’ role is the first at Barnard to examine policies of diversity and inclusion for the college as a whole.
“This is an important moment for Barnard. More than ever in our 129-year history, our students come from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences; we are focused on recruiting faculty whose backgrounds, methodological and scholarly approaches will translate into new perspectives and voices on campus,” Beilock’s announcement said. “It was with these considerations in mind that, roughly a year ago, we began the formal search process for the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”
Stokas’ appointment comes after the announcement of Leslie Grinage as the new Dean of the College last month.
While at Bard, Stokas founded the Latin American Philosophy of Education Society. Her recent research focuses on examining the University as a mechanism for reparations. Stokas was also a coinvestigator for a Mellon Foundation subgrant studying Latin American pedagogical practices and combining them with European pedagogical strategies and critical theory. Her most recent publication, to be published in the Critical Review this coming year, is titled "Tracing Epistemic Reparation: Outlining Universities as Sites for Collective Amending."
Stokas will begin her tenure as Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in July.
Read the full email below.
Dear Members of the Barnard Community,
It is my pleasure to announce that Ariana González Stokas has been selected as Barnard College’s inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This appointment is the culmination of a search process conducted over the past academic year. Vice President González Stokas brings an extraordinary breadth of experience in higher education and a dedication to equity and access to this important role. She will join Barnard this July.
This is an important moment for Barnard. More than ever in our 129-year history, our students come from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences; we are focused on recruiting faculty whose backgrounds, methodological and scholarly approaches will translate into new perspectives and voices on campus; and our staff add to the richness of the College in so many ways. At the same time, we recognize the need to do better to ensure that every member of the Barnard community feels heard, respected and welcome.
It was with these considerations in mind that, roughly a year ago, we began the formal search process for the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The creation of this position was recommended by the President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion and reinforced campuswide. The sentiment was that institutional leadership at the highest levels would help Barnard coordinate and amplify efforts across campus and enable us to become the inclusive community we aspire to be.
Over the past year, a search advisory committee – composed of students, faculty, and staff and led by Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development Monica Miller – crafted a position description, sought feedback from the community, and hosted candidates on campus. This committee both helped to define this inaugural role and find the right person for it.
Vice President González Stokas joins us from Bard College, where she currently serves as the inaugural Dean for Inclusive Excellence. As a senior diversity administrator, she works to integrate community engagement and pedagogy as essential elements in creating a more just and equitable campus. Prior to her current role at Bard, Ariana was one of 20 founding faculty at Guttman Community College of CUNY. Ariana received her B.A. in philosophy and studio arts from Bard College and her Ph.D in philosophy and education from Columbia University. She is a first-generation Puerto Rican woman who describes her family story as being defined by the struggle of women to access education.
In her new role, Vice President González Stokas will report directly to me and be an integral part of my senior leadership team. She will chair the Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and work closely with the dean of faculty diversity and development and the executive director for equity, among others, to envision and actualize campuswide programs that promote diversity, establish accountability, and support inclusivity among Barnard’s community.
I would like to thank Professor Miller and the search advisory committee for their dedicated work on Barnard’s behalf. I would also like to thank Professor Yvette Christiansë for serving as interim chair of the Council, and all members of our community whose feedback helped us advance this process.
I look forward to Vice President González Stokas leading Barnard as we take an honest inventory of our own campus culture, work to build necessary supports, and create an inclusive community where all feel equally valued. I hope you will join me in warmly welcoming her to Barnard.
Sian Leah Beilock, President