Gwinnett administrator named to top diversity post at UGA

LAWRENCEVILLE - Cheryl Davenport Dozier, a top Gwinnett college administrator, was named the new associate provost for institutional diversity at the University of Georgia.

She brings to her new role an extensive background of studying, presenting and writing on diversity in higher education. Dozier was one of four finalists for the position, which will focus on ensuring equity among students, faculty and staff; providing leadership to diversity outreach programs; and developing and implementing awareness programs.

For the past few years, Dozier has served as the assistant vice president for academic affairs at UGA's Gwinnett campus. She hopes to bring her background in academia and social work to the associate provost position, but said she feels UGA is already doing a good job appealing to minority students.

This year, the university reported a 38 percent increase in the number of applications from black students. There was also a 36 percent increase in Hispanic student applicants.

"I think it's critical that the university looks at the educational and program curricula, that it's sensitive to all the needs of all the students so they can not feel isolated in this environment," Dozier said.

Thirty years ago, Dozier was one of the first black students at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She said she knows well the issues minority students face on campus.

She wants to increase not just the number of students who apply to UGA, but the number who attend the university and graduate from there.

"Dr. Dozier has an immense amount of knowledge of people and programs within this institution, as well as external constituents, that will help her be effective in further enhancing diversity at the University of Georgia," Provost Arnett Mace Jr. said.

She visited the Athens campus on March 24 to meet with UGA's faculty, staff and students. Dozier also had private sessions with representatives of different constituency groups and the staff of the Office of Institutional Diversity.

Her experience at UGA and her background made her an attractive candidate to the UGA search committee. The other finalists for the position were top administrators at Pennsylvania State University, Georgetown University and the University of California at Berkeley.

"With her years of experience and professional training, Dr. Dozier is uniquely qualified to serve in this important position," UGA President Michael Adams said. "I am delighted with her appointment and I know she will contribute great creativity and energy in her new role."