Two key DEI leadership posts filled
Skidmore College has appointed Anita Jack-Davies and Christopher Barnes to two key diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leadership positions.
Jack-Davies assumed her role as Skidmore’s deputy chief diversity officer and inaugural director of The Center at Skidmore on April 19. She joins Skidmore from the faculty of arts and science at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where she served as assistant dean of equity, diversity, inclusion and indigeneity.
Barnes will become the new director of the Office of Student Diversity Programs on July 5. He comes to Skidmore from the University of Redlands in Redlands, California, where he served as a resident director in Residential Life and was involved in Title IX and restorative justice work.
Searches for the seminal positions were launched as priorities of Skidmore’s Racial Justice Initiative, a yearlong series of projects that seek to address the realities of racial injustice locally, nationally and globally.
"Dr. Jack-Davies brings extensive experience in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as a college administrator, educator, scholar, author and business consultant," said Joshua C. Woodfork, vice president for strategic planning and institutional diversity.
At Skidmore, Jack-Davies will shape the mission of The Center, a vibrant, accessible space at the heart of campus for connecting people and programs that underscore the importance of equity, inclusion, and social justice. It is slated to open this fall.
She will also play an integral role on campus diversity committees; work with divisional representatives across campus, partner with colleagues in Student Affairs and support affinity groups; coordinate the annual In It series; and support the Racial Justice Initiative.
At Queen’s University, Jack-Davies integrated DEI measures across a range of portfolios, including undergraduate and graduate education, research, online learning, strategic partnerships, policy studies and faculty relations. She formerly served as director of strategic partnerships and development at Ryerson University in Toronto.
She holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree, with concentrations in cultural and policy studies, from Queen’s University, as well as bachelor’s degrees from the University of Western Ontario (Althouse College) and the University of Toronto (Victoria College).
Jack-Davies will work closely with Woodfork, Barnes, Student Affairs and other campus partners to strengthen DEI efforts.
Throughout his time at Redlands, Barnes strengthened and developed his knowledge and ability to assist students through their college journey, particularly through his passion for DEI work.
As Skidmore’s director of the Office of Student Diversity Programs, Barnes will provide strategic visioning for the office, relaunch the OSDP Mentor Program, provide advising and support to OSDP clubs and organizations, and partner with the Campus Life and Engagement team and The Center to strengthen DEI support and programming at Skidmore.
“The Office of Student Diversity Programs has always been a vital campus resource for students of color, LGBTQ+ students, international students and first-generation students and a place where students feel valued, validated and supported on campus,” said Mariel Martin, associate dean of student affairs in the Office of Campus Life and Engagement. “I have great confidence that Chris will continue and build on that great work.”
Barnes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from McPherson College and a Master of Science degree in education from California Baptist University. He is currently enrolled in the Doctorate in Leadership for Educational Justice program at the University of Redlands.