Dec 3, 2021

Ivy K. Banks, JD, an accomplished leader of inclusivity initiatives across several higher-education institutions, will join Xavier University as its new Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, President Colleen Hanycz, PhD, announced on Friday.

Set to assume the position in late January, Banks will lead the University’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI), which provides university-wide leadership to promote and support the development of successful diversity and inclusion initiatives.

“In our search for Xavier’s next Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, we sought an individual who will lead our continued commitment to inclusive excellence at every turn. Based on Ivy’s strong track record and passion for the critical work of building and sustaining an architecture of belonging, I believe she will prove to be a tremendous asset to our community,” President Hanycz said. “Our Jesuit Catholic foundation calls us to foster an environment where all are welcome, strengthening the lives of our students intellectually, morally and spiritually. Ivy’s experience with recruiting and retaining diverse student groups, advancing equity on campuses and leading strategic work in this area makes her an excellent choice to join Xavier in this mission.”

An attorney by trade, Banks comes to Xavier from the University of Arizona, where she served as Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion.

Her leadership experience in diversity and inclusion also includes time as Northern Arizona University’s Assistant Vice President of Inclusion and Director of Multicultural and LGBTQIA Student Services, and at the University of Phoenix as Director of Disability Services. She also worked as an administrator at the University of Akron School of Law, for which she coordinated student recruitment and retention programs while implementing new diversity recruitment initiatives.

“I feel honored at the opportunity to serve the Xavier community by leading the University’s diversity and inclusion efforts,” Banks said. “Improving inclusivity and equity in higher education is an essential mission, one I plan to carry out using innovative, forward-thinking and data-driven strategies that will effect positive change in our community. I am eager to get started and help position the University for success in the years to come.”

Banks’ 15-plus years as a diversity and inclusion professional also includes several years as a senior lecturer for both graduate and undergraduate institutions.

Throughout her career, Banks has used innovative, forward-thinking strategies, along with applicable needs assessments, to improve the departments she served, from developing early pipeline programs that led to increased diversity enrollment to increasing peer development programs to increase retention. She has also led diversity and inclusion training for county and executive-level leaders and institutions such as higher education and non-profit institutions.

Arizona Business Magazine named Banks to its list of “20 Diverse Leaders to Watch in 2021.”

Her accolades include the Anthony “Tony” Ross Award for service to Black and African American students, the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award and the LGBTQIA Commission’s Ally of the Year Award, at Northern Arizona University. From the University of Akron, she received the Leadership Excellence Award from the Akron Law BLSA Alumni Banquet and Alumni of the Year award from the Akron Law Black Law Students Association. She also received the Dean’s Commendation for Outstanding Student Engagement in the Classroom from Bryant & Stratton College.

A proud first-generation student, Banks earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Akron School of Law, a master of education degree in educational leadership-community college/higher education from Northern Arizona University, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Cleveland State University. She is an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., which is one of four historically African American sororities. She has also acquired trainings and certificates from Cornell University in Faculty Institute for Diversity, along with Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA), Section 504 and Decision Maker certifications.

As Xavier’s office for advancing toward a more inclusive and equitable community, OIDI’s objectives include:
  • Creating and maintaining a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable campus climate
  • Recruiting underrepresented student groups and enhance their retention
  • Recruiting underrepresented faculty and staff and enhance their retention
  • Promoting diversity education, scholarship and culturally responsive teaching
  • Fostering a culture of community engagement
  • Transforming the institutional culture by executing on our commitments and building a culture of accountability

For more on Xavier’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, visit xavier.edu/institutional-diversity-inclusion.

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