Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion

Meet Dr. Cheryl Gittens

Headshot of Dr. Cheryl Gittens
Cheryl B. Gittens
Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion
Elzie Higginbottom Vice Provost & Chief Diversity Officer

Cheryl B. Gittens, Ed.D., was named interim Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer in the summer of 2020. She is an experienced academic and student affairs administrator who has successfully planned, implemented and managed programs and services designed to increase high school graduation, college enrollment and retention at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

As interim Chief Diversity Officer, Gittens provides overall leadership for the university’s efforts to create a diverse, inclusive and successful work and learning environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni and others who partner with the university. She works with schools, colleges and other administrative units across campus on diversity and inclusion initiatives while supervising the key diversity units that comprise the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA).

Prior to her interim appointment, she served as Assistant Vice Provost under Chief Diversity Officer Patrick J. Sims, with administrative responsibilities for many of the university’s diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives, including the Center for Educational Opportunity (CeO), the Precollege Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE), the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program and the Academic Coaching and Tutoring Services (ACTS) program, as well as other efforts to realize the institutional mission toward a diverse, welcoming and inclusive campus.

Before joining UW–Madison in 2017, Gittens was the Vice President of Education and Chief Academic Officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, and before that was Director of Student Affairs and Community Service Learning at the University of Virginia. She earned her Doctor of Education at George Washington University and her master’s degree in Social Work at Rutgers University.