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Warfield to oversee expanded diversity efforts

Sept. 3, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Martha Warfield, a veteran campus administrator and advocate for campus diversity, has been named vice president for diversity and inclusion at Western Michigan University.

Photo of Dr. Martha Warfield.Her appointment, which was made pending approval by the WMU Board of Trustees, is effective Sept. 1. Warfield, who has served as associate vice president for diversity and inclusion for the past two years, will oversee an expanded array of University offices and units that touch on all aspects of diversity.

"Dr. Warfield plays a critical role as an advocate for Western Michigan University and all of its faculty, staff and students," said WMU President John M. Dunn in announcing her new appointment. "We've expanded the areas that she will oversee, and I believe that by moving diversity and inclusion advocacy to a central leadership position, we are sending a message about this University's commitment to the issue and about Dr. Warfield's specific strengths. Her expertise, sensitivity and compassion command respect and ideally position her to lead us as the University moves forward to ensure that it is inclusive and representative of all."

Warfield oversees the Division of Multicultural Affairs as well as implementation of WMU's Diversity and Multiculturalism Action Plan. She also manages University affairs related to the Kalamazoo Promise; oversees the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation and other community student development activities; and supervises WMU's role in the presentation of this fall's communitywide exhibit, "RACE: Are We So Different?"

Her new areas of responsibility include but are not limited to Disability Services for Students; Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender Student Services; Martin Luther King Jr. programs and activities; and other offices, programs and services, such as those for returning veterans, that affirm the University's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Warfield says she appreciates the opportunity to help WMU continue to fulfill the goals and vision laid out in its diversity strategic plan that calls for the University to be a leader in the areas of diversity and multiculturalism--a place where "diversity in all of its forms is investigated, explained, practiced, celebrated, affirmed and vigorously pursued."

"I look forward to bringing that vision to reality with the belief that WMU will serve as a model for other institutions seeking to educate tomorrow's leaders in a supportive, diverse and inclusive environment," she says.

Warfield came to WMU and the Division of Student Affairs in 1992 as a psychologist and associate professor in the University Counseling and Testing Center and was named director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs in 1993. She continued to direct that division until 2007, after being promoted in 2002 to assistant vice president for student affairs and being tapped in 2004 to head a presidential initiative on diversity.

Warfield is a member of the WMU President's Commission on Gender Equity as well as a newly elected member of the Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education and a board member for the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Before joining the University's staff, Warfield established Kalamazoo Community Counseling, the first African-American owned mental health clinic in the city. She also developed the Community Based Education Program for the Kalamazoo Public Schools, which provided support for KPS students over a five-year period.

Her service to both University and community are wide-ranging. A past recipient of WMU's Distinguished Service Award, Warfield has been honored over the past two years at the local and state levels, receiving the:

  • NAACP's 2008 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Kalamazoo chapter for "her decades of contributing to helping students pursue their dreams through education."
  • 2009 Lifetime Woman of Achievement Award from the YWCA of Kalamazoo.
  • 2010 Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award from the state affiliate of the American Council on Education Network.

Warfield earned a bachelor's degree from WMU in 1961, a master's degree from the University of Oregon in 1969 and a doctoral degree in counseling psychology from Michigan State University in 1979. She also was a postdoctoral fellow in MSU's Institute of Research in Teaching.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
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Western Michigan University
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