UW’s Raul Leon featured on podcast about new ‘Becoming a Diversity Leader’ book

UW–Madison’s Raul Leon, Ph.D., was featured on the “Student Affairs NOW” podcast, an online learning community for student affairs educators, as part of a panel discussion exploring the role of diversity leaders on college and university campuses.

Heather D. Shea, Ph.D., of Michigan State University, hosted the discussion, where Dr. Leon was joined by Kelli Perkins of The Madeira School in Virginia and Brighid Dwyer (Ajunwa), Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences, all of whom authored chapters in the new book, “Becoming a Diversity Leader: Navigating Identity and Situational Pressures.” Dr. Leon’s chapter, “Empowering Diversity Leaders: Reflecting on the Chief Diversity Officer Role,” is a timely contribution toward understanding the role of chief diversity officers in higher education and the experiences of those actively serving institutions.

One of the ways in which we can help institutions is to provide evidence that allows them to understand, examine and compare what CDOs can do. Examining what is the impact of resources. Figuring out the relevance of the structure of the CDO position, and making more informed decisions about how CDOs are positioned withing the broader institutional context. All of that can be combined with a much-needed understanding of the characteristics that CDOs as individuals bring to the position.
— Dr. Raul Leon on “Student Affairs NOW”

Portrait of Raul A. Leon
Raul A. Leon

Dr. Leon is the assistant vice provost for student engagement and scholarship programs in the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement, where he provides administrative, operational, and strategic leadership for the division’s student engagement and scholarship programs. He also serves as executive director of the Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program, one of UW’s most respected and successful scholarship initiatives.

As assistant vice provost, Dr. Leon oversees and directs a portfolio of identity-based scholarship programs including the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives, the Posse program, the Precollege Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE), and the Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program. He earned his Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis and his master’s degree from UW–Madison. Before rejoining UW in June 2022, Dr. Leon was a professor in the Department of Leadership and Counseling at Eastern Michigan University, where he taught graduate-level courses in higher education and student affairs while keeping an active research agenda.