President Stuart Rabinowitz today announced the appointment of Cornell L. Craig, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion at Pace University, as Hofstra’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO).
Craig, who has more than a decade of experience as an administrator working on campus diversity, inclusion and multicultural issues, will begin his new post April 1.
He was chosen following a national search and interview process conducted by a committee of faculty, administrators and students. The committee invited three candidates for campus visits, during which they met with various constituencies including faculty, administrators and students, both in small groups as well as during a public session open to all members of the campus community.
“Creating this leadership position is part of Hofstra’s continuing commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said President Rabinowitz. “Cornell Craig has a track record of developing strategies and programs that foster a campus environment that values diversity, and an ability to collaborate across disciplines and departments that is essential for the success of this newly created role.”
The CDIO, who will report directly to the president, will work collaboratively with academic and administrative departments, and with students and the surrounding community. Among the key responsibilities of the role are establishing and chairing a University Diversity and Inclusion Council that will develop and implement a diversity strategic plan, developing diversity and retention plans for faculty, administrators and staff, and creating education and training programs on diversity and inclusion including bias, sensitivity and cultural competency.
Craig has been at Pace University since 2009, first as director of multicultural affairs and diversity programs and, since December 2017, as assistant dean for diversity and inclusion.
At Pace, he established a peer mentoring program for first-year students of color and a support program for men of color who are first-generation college students. He also served on the Pace LGBTQ Task Force and oversaw the creation of the Campus LGBTQ Center. In addition, Craig led workshops and training seminars to build coalitions between cultural student groups, faculty and staff, and coordinated diversity awareness training for first-year students.
He was also responsible for diversity training for a wide range of campus constituencies, including resident assistants and resident directors, faculty and student groups. He also served as a Title IX trainer for the Pace Athletic Department and created the annual compliance reporting and assessment.
“I look forward to working with all members of the Hofstra community to build on the success they’ve already had creating a diverse, inclusive climate that recognizes and celebrates the contributions of all,” Craig said.
Before his tenure at Pace, Craig spent three years with Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY, including establishing the Office of Minority Student Programs, for which he served as the inaugural director. During his time at Bellarmine, the university saw a 19 percent increase in enrollment of students of color, and 50 percent increase in participation in cultural campus activities. He has also served as a guest lecturer and adjunct faculty member at Pace and Bellarmine.
Cornell L. Craig earned a BA in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University and an MBA from W. Fielding Rubel School of Business at Bellarmine University. He was an All-American wide receiver at Southern Illinois, and was named Division 1-AA Player of the Year during his senior year. He holds several university records, including most receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches, and was inducted into the Southern Illinois University’s Hall of Fame in 2008.