Dr. Eric Williams left UW–Madison on Aug. 20 to become vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago.
Dr. E, as he is affectionately known, has served our division as interim assistant vice provost for student diversity and scholarship programs for the past year, but many of you know his connection with the DDEEA goes back much further than that. From 2011 to 2017, he was the DDEEA’s assistant vice provost for student diversity and academic excellence before becoming the executive director for the Educational Opportunity program at Marquette University. Thanks in large part to his efforts, in 2017 UW–Madison achieved a 90% retention rate of underrepresented students in divisional programs, up from 79% in 2013.
“What I’ll miss the most is working with students and staff,” Dr. E said. “I want to thank the student directors who did an excellent job keeping students engaged when the transition to remote work and learning was made — the directors didn’t miss a beat with students.”
“Appreciation is too small a word for what I know we all feel about having had the benefit of Eric’s presence and leadership,” said Associate Vice Provost Cheryl Gittens. “His institutional memory, wise counsel, and collegiality were immeasurably valuable as we took on the challenges of the last year together, and I know that sentiment is shared by those he worked with in the division and across campus.
I am ever grateful for Dr. E’s leadership at such an important time on our campus and in our community. His steady hand was critical in successfully guiding our student programs during the transition to remote learning and work as a result of the pandemic. We send our thanks and well-wishes to Dr. E as he embarks on his new journey. We all wish him success in his new role.