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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

VP for equity and inclusion leaving six months in

Wayne+Gersie%2C+Quinnipiac+Universitys+vice+president+for+equity+and+inclusion%2C+is+leaving+the+university+at+the+end+of+December+after+less+than+six+months.+%28photo+courtesy+of+Quinnipiac+University%29
Wayne Gersie, Quinnipiac University’s vice president for equity and inclusion, is leaving the university at the end of December after less than six months. (photo courtesy of Quinnipiac University)

Quinnipiac University’s chief diversity officer will depart the university at the end of December, making him the fifth diversity and inclusion official to do so in the past 11 months.

Five months and two days after welcoming Wayne Gersie as the university’s newest vice president of equity and inclusion, President Judy Olian announced via email Thursday that Gersie will return to Michigan Technological University later this month “for personal reasons.”

“My thanks to Wayne for the contributions he has made in advancing recruitment, programming and reporting around our important equity and inclusion goals,” Olian wrote in the Dec. 7 email.

University officials hired David Fryson — a veteran college administrator who has served as the chief diversity officer at both Brandeis University and West Virginia University — to take over as Quinnipiac’s interim vice president for equity and inclusion at the beginning of 2024.

Four other diversity and inclusion administrators have resigned in the past year.

Dennis Kwarteng, Quinnipiac’s former Title IX coordinator, left Quinnipiac in January. Gersie’s predecessor, Don Sawyer, departed Quinnipiac in June. Daymyen Layne, the former director of multicultural education and training, departed in June as well. And Veronica Jacobs, the current associate director of multicultural education and training, announced her resignation on Dec. 1.

Amid Gersie’s departure, Olian announced several structural changes to Quinnipiac’s Department of Global and Cultural and Engagement designed to “enable singular focus on equity and inclusion on the one hand, and on international students and global education on the other.”

“While there may appear to be several shifts in reporting roles, nothing has changed about our unwavering commitment to achieving the goals of advancing inclusive excellence, and expanding the programming available to support students, faculty and staff of color,” Olian wrote.

Namely, university officials recategorized study abroad and academic programming under the Office of the Provost and international student services under the Office of Student Affairs. Olian also announced the creation of two new positions: a director of spiritual well-being and a position striving to “increase retention of first-generation and diverse students.”

“The restructuring of the Office of Inclusive Excellence will enable our singular focus on execution of the university priorities around inclusive excellence — our 10-point plan for social justice, the goals of our LGBTQ+ plan, and the action plans derived from our climate for diversity survey — while also connecting global students and programs to the relevant functions at the university,” she wrote.

Gersie is also the fourth vice president to depart Quinnipiac in the past 14 months.

Daryl Richard, Quinnipiac’s former vice president for marketing and communications, left in October 2022. Todd Sloan, the former vice president for development and alumni affairs, left in September 2023.

Sawyer, Richard and Sloan all departed after accepting near-identical roles at other universities.

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  • K

    KaitensatsumaJan 4, 2024 at 3:24 pm

    Jesus Christ, things haven’t been getting better on this at QU, huh?

    Reply
  • R

    RDec 16, 2023 at 10:22 am

    A few years ago I went to see Donald Sawyer with a discrimination issue. During the conversation, instead of listening to my experience and being compassionate, he disregarded, gaslighted and downplayed the incident. He promised to look into what happened. I eventually found out that he did absolutely nothing – even though he said that he was actively investigating it. The timing for him coming to QU coincided with his daughter getting the free tuition benefit.

    I’m sure the new VP inherited a problematic and controversial position and left very quickly. As usual, no transparency and no accountability with QU. I’m not surprised that the DOJ is investigating the PA program for discrimination.

    Reply
  • T

    Traci HillDec 9, 2023 at 3:59 pm

    Some organizations want to have great diversity initiatives but don’t want to give control to the expert they bring in. Then some organizations say they want it but their individual history/triggers won’t let but so many colorful folks in the front door. There are many racist who don’t know they are.

    I’d suggest bringing in a firm to assess their situation which includes training for all especially leadership on inclusion, unconscious bias and sensitivity. Then hire someone to come into a healthier environment.

    Reply
  • V

    VbDec 9, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    Equity and inclusion 🤣🤣. Terms used to push out whites without sounding racist🤣

    Reply
    • K

      KaitensatsumaJan 4, 2024 at 3:27 pm

      At a University with an 80% white population?

      Reply
  • D

    David PDec 9, 2023 at 11:39 am

    DEI is pure bigotry and socialism and it is evil.

    They should get rid of the entire racist and anti-merit department and get back to focusing on education and excellence.

    Reply
  • R

    RBDec 7, 2023 at 8:52 pm

    Very interesting to see such a lot of turnover of staff at that level. Maybe they all thought that QU isn’t going in the right direction, in general? I don’t think “structural changes” is the reason for all of the departures.

    Reply
    • S

      StanDec 9, 2023 at 10:15 am

      Maybe the whole position isn’t even necessary, what is it they actually do? QU is already diverse, it’s already extremely equitable, and everyone is included. Problem solved. Give me the job why don’t ya? I’ll do at least as good as all the previous candidates.

      Reply
    • S

      ShanaDec 9, 2023 at 7:05 pm

      There’s more to this story. The turnover is to frequent and short, eventually the truth will surface.

      Reply