The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has hired a Utah college administrator as its first vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion.
The university said Monday that Marco Barker will begin his work in Lincoln on April 1.
Barker’s hiring creates a new Office of Diversity and Inclusion. He’ll lead the university’s planning and efforts toward ensuring an inclusive and equitable campus in areas such as faculty recruitment and retention, education and research.
Barker is chief diversity officer at Westminister College in Salt Lake City. He has a bachelor’s in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas, a master’s from Webster University and a doctorate in educational leadership and research from Louisiana State University.
When the position was first proposed this summer, Senator Steve Erdman of Bayard questioned the hiring because it adds another six figure salary at a time when the University has been battling with the Legislature over state funding.
He also maintained it might put “white Christian conservative males” at risk.
Dr. Hank Bounds told KNEB News the position is designed to get more people “across the finish line” to a degree, especially if they are poor. And he says the position is needed because of all the different backgrounds that students have attending the university.