UD hires Dayton native for president of diversity and inclusion

Tiffany Taylor Smith was recently named the new vice president for diversity and inclusion for the University of Dayton. Courtesy of University of Dayton.
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Tiffany Taylor Smith was recently named the new vice president for diversity and inclusion for the University of Dayton. Courtesy of University of Dayton.

The University of Dayton has named Dayton native Tiffany Taylor Smith as the new vice president for diversity and inclusion.

Taylor Smith begins her role as vice president Jan. 4, but will serve as the acting vice president of diversity and inclusion beginning Nov. 24.

The university says Taylor Smith is a noted leader in intercultural competence and served as executive director for inclusive excellence education at UD since 2017 before being appointed assistant vice president earlier this year.

A graduate of Archbishop Alter High School whose family continues to reside in Dayton, she has decades of experience leading people to build better cross-cultural relations.

Taylor Smith said coming back to Dayton after her career called her away for more than 30 years has been exciting.

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“Even while I was away, Dayton was always and still is my hometown,” she said.

Taylor Smith said she was excited to contribute her talents and passions to build an inclusive campus community that also includes Catholic and Marianist values.

She promised to anchor the university’s efforts in partnerships and collaborations with Dayton and surrounding communities

The previous and inaugural vice president for diversity and inclusion, Lawrence Burnley, accepted a similar role with the Shaker Heights City School District, a Cleveland suburb.

UD says Taylor Smith helped to create a culture of collaboration, inclusion and equity through faculty and staff programming, one-on-one meetings with other campus leaders and relationship building across campus.

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Taylor Smith’s professional experience also includes serving as president and founder of the consulting and coaching company, Culture Learning Partners; as senior manager for diversity and organizational capability for Procter & Gamble; as a research associate on multicultural issues in counseling at Fordham University; and presenting nationally on topics related to cultural conversations, according to UD.

Taylor Smith expects to graduate from UD with a doctorate in educational leadership in December 2022.

University President Eric F. Spina said Taylor Smith will bring experience and value to the role.

“She is an excellent colleague, a proven selfless collaborator, and well positioned to advance our shared work to become a more diverse and inclusive community dedicated to the common good,” Spina said.

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