President Yager Appoints Director for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Sent to staff May 25, 2021

Good afternoon,

I am extremely pleased to announce that Maurice Baynard, currently associate professor of Critical Studies and co-chair of the DEI Committee, will transition to the role of director for diversity, equity and inclusion in the Office of the President, effective Tuesday, June 1. In his new role, Maurice will work to further accelerate diversity, equity and inclusion efforts university-wide.

Maurice brings over a decade of experience in higher education, with both faculty and administrative appointments at Community College of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Penn State Abington and Drexel University. Since 2012, Maurice has been a faculty member in the Critical Studies program at UArts, teaching a variety of courses focused on the intersection of science and creativity, including Problem Solving, Brain and Behavior, Human Perception, and Sleep Dreams and Art.

In 2018, Maurice was appointed co-chair of the President’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. In this role, Maurice worked to craft and implement the committee’s core mission of “creating open and honest dialogue about issues of diversity at the university and taking intentional actions to move the university forward.” In the fall of 2019, the task force was made a standing committee and charged with developing a sustainable transition plan.

Maurice has also been a constant advocate for students, serving as faculty advisor for the African Diaspora Collective, Media Now and the UArts Chapter of the NAACP. In these roles, he has been twice awarded Advisor of the Year by the office of Student Affairs.

Moving forward, Maurice will continue his leadership role in furthering the university’s core value of Integrity and Diversity, as well as advancing the recommendations of the DEI Committee. He will work in collaboration with the DEI Committee, senior and academic leadership to design, implement, steward and assess the diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives across campus to ensure alignment with the university’s long-term strategic plan. Together with our diversity and inclusion programming coordinator, Jheri Wills, he will also work closely with our DEI Student Fellows. Also essential to the success of his new role, Maurice will continue to teach on a part-time basis while maintaining strong collaborative partnerships with students, faculty and staff across the university to foster a culture of inclusion at UArts.

Maurice holds a Master’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Medical College of Pennsylvania, and he completed doctoral research in the Department of Psychiatry's Division of Sleep and Chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Please join me in congratulating Maurice on this significant transition.

Thank you,