Miami names Cristina Alcalde new vice president for institutional diversity and inclusion


Cristina Alcalde

Miami University President Gregory Crawford announced that the university has selected M. Cristina Alcalde as its new vice president for institutional diversity and inclusion, effective July 1. In this role, Alcalde will provide vision and  leadership for university-wide diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, advancement and enhancement. Alongside the university’s DEI task force, she will work across the university to fully integrate and advance DEI efforts, impacting students, faculty, staff and the Miami community. 

Alcalde will also hold a tenured appointment as full professor in the Department of Global and Intercultural Studies. She is currently professor of gender and women's studies and the Marie Rich Endowed Professor at the University of Kentucky, where she also serves as associate dean of inclusion and internationalization in the College of Arts and Sciences and the director of the Online Graduate Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion. 

“We are honored to welcome a scholar and innovator like Cristina to lead our diversity and inclusion efforts at Miami University,” said Miami University President Gregory Crawford. “Her commitment to creating an equitable and inclusive environment for all community members will keep our inclusive excellence mission at the forefront of everything we accomplish. Cristina will be instrumental in elevating Miami’s diversity and inclusion culture and making it a blueprint for national and global DEI initiatives.”

Alcalde has traveled the world to conduct research on topics including gender violence, migration, exclusion, and race and racialization. Her most recent book, Peruvian Lives across Borders: Power, Exclusion, and Home (2018, University of Illinois Press) is based on multi-sited research in Peru, the U.S., Canada, and Germany. 

“Living internationally has demonstrated to me that institutions, no matter where they are, reflect the richness of their students, staff, faculty, and alumni,” Alcalde said. “With Oxford and Miami, I know that I can actively be part of a welcoming and vibrant community intent on centering diversity, equity, and inclusion and transformation. Miami is a place where we continue to actively learn from and contribute to broader conversations that are happening everywhere about belonging, inclusion, racism and anti-racism, and global inequities and interconnections.”

At Miami, Alcalde said she is looking forward to strategically focusing on long-term, sustainable structural change to move every part of Miami forward. She will take the helm from Anthony James, who has served as interim vice president for institutional diversity since September 2020, having succeeded longtime leader Ronald Scott. During James’s tenure, the university’s Presidential DEI implementation group examined and began implementing the 44 recommendations set forth by the President’s DEI task force.

“Anthony James has provided invaluable leadership and discovery the past year,” said Crawford. “We have made tremendous strides to advance our diversity, equity, and inclusion at Miami University and we owe a lot of gratitude to Anthony for his leadership and contributions to advancing Miami’s longstanding commitment to equality and justice and his shared leadership of the DEI task force.”

Alcalde said Miami’s “intentional and consistent trajectory of transformation to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion across all areas” such as the DEI Task Force Implementation Plan and MiamiRISE drew her to Miami. She said she is especially looking forward to meeting with stakeholders across the university and broader community to holistically incorporate and build on strengths of existing approaches, and to identify additional paths forward for the benefit of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the broader Miami community.

“I am thrilled to be joining Miami’s leadership team, because I consider my own values, commitments, and experiences to be deeply aligned with Miami’s very intentional focus on diversity, inclusivity, and engagement both within units and more structurally,” Alcalde said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to build on the work of so many and to work with amazing colleagues and partners to continue the momentum towards inclusive excellence, to ensure Miami is a welcoming community for all and a model for innovation and inclusive excellence.”

At the University of Kentucky, Alcalde is also the director of the Online Graduate Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion. In addition to her research and teaching responsibilities, she worked with a faculty committee to support the development of a new Race and Ethnicity undergraduate course requirement for the College of Arts and Sciences. It was an effort that responded to student demands and drew on the expertise of faculty and the knowledge of advisors, ultimately ensuring that students have critical skills by the time they graduate.

“I am especially proud of collaborative efforts such as that, because they honor shared governance and also bring together multiple stakeholders, whether focusing on recruitment and retention, professional development, curriculum, community-building, strategic planning, or another area,” Alcalde said. 

At UK, Alcalde has been instrumental in leading diversity and internationalization efforts for the College of Arts and Sciences. She developed a college-wide DEI Strategic Plan; designed and ran new initiatives focused on inclusivity and under-represented faculty, staff and students; designed and directed an online graduate certificate on inclusion and diversity; developed the College Diversity and Inclusivity Committee; developed a Faculty Inclusion Fellows Program; among other responsibilities. 

Alcalde earned her doctorate in anthropology and her master’s in Latin American studies at Indiana University and her bachelor of arts in anthropology at the University of Louisville.