Office of the President

Campus Climate

November 8, 2019

I am writing to announce the appointment of Nicole L. Butts as Presidential Associate for Diversity, Inclusion and Campus Climate. Effective immediately, Nicole will serve in this role in an interim capacity concurrent with the launch of a formal search for a permanent incumbent. 

As the Interim Presidential Associate, Ms. Butts will serve as Cal Poly Pomona’s senior officer responsible for assuring that our core institutional values of diversity and inclusivity are deeply embedded in our campus community, business practices, and programs. Her portfolio will include designing and implementing campus plans to advance inclusion, developing training initiatives in support of our campus climate, and working with stakeholders in the colleges and divisions to recruit, retain, and advance diverse members of our campus community. This position reports directly to me and serves as a member of my Cabinet. 

Ms. Butts was recruited to Cal Poly Pomona in February of last year to serve as Interim Director of Employee Diversity, Inclusion and Campus Climate in the Division of Administrative Affairs. An experienced administrator, she has spent nearly two decades working in organizational development management in both the public and private sectors, with a particular focus on promoting diversity and inclusion. Prior to Cal Poly Pomona, she served as Human Resources Director for Equal Employment and Affirmative Action at UC Riverside. Ms. Butts holds a bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a master’s degree from Bowie State University, along with numerous professional certifications.

While I have previously announced the search for a permanent Presidential Associate this fall, I determined that it is critical for our institution to make progress on a number of important initiatives related to campus climate. In short, this leadership role is too important and the work too urgent for it to remain vacant during the search effort. The Academic Senate has already extended a call for faculty volunteers to serve on the Presidential Associate search committee and I encourage interested faculty to respond to the Senate’s communication.

One of Ms. Butt’s initial endeavors is the formation of an Inclusive Excellence Council. Consisting of faculty, staff, and students, the Council will serve as an advisory body charged with upholding and promoting Cal Poly Pomona’s core value of inclusivity as delineated in our Strategic Plan. Ms. Butts will be sharing information with the campus about the proposed structure and function of the Council in the coming weeks.

Please join me in thanking Ms. Butts for taking on this vital role. Our human diversity, along with our diversity of thought, experiences, and contributions are among our greatest strengths. And by fostering inclusion and mutual respect, we create a campus where each of us is empowered to reach our full potential.