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Tiffany Taylor Smith named VP for diversity and inclusion

The University of Dayton has named Tiffany Taylor Smith vice president for diversity and inclusion. Smith is a noted leader in intercultural competence and served as executive director for inclusive excellence education at UD since 2017 before being appointed assistant vice president earlier this year.

“Tiffany is accomplished and respected both on campus and off. She brings to this position valuable experience creating and leading comprehensive professional development and training for UD and a broad background working with institutions of higher education, corporations, nonprofits and other organizations across the country,” said University President Eric F. Spina. “She is an excellent colleague, a proven selfless collaborator, and well positioned to advance our shared work to become a more diverse and inclusive community dedicated to the common good.”

Taylor Smith, a Dayton native, has decades of experience leading people to build better cross-cultural relations, navigate cultural diversity, and increase cultural equity. She succeeds Lawrence Burnley, the University's inaugural vice president for diversity and inclusion, who accepted a similar role with the Shaker Heights City School District in northeast Ohio, returning to the district that holds deep connection for his family. Taylor Smith begins her role as vice president Jan. 4, 2022, but will serve as the acting vice president of diversity and inclusion beginning Nov. 24.

At UD, Taylor Smith has worked to create a culture of collaboration, inclusion and equity through efforts including faculty and staff programming, one-on-one meetings with other campus leaders and relationship building across campus. 

“Tiffany’s work has touched all areas of campus, from serving as a resource for faculty to supporting students who identify with historically underrepresented, underserved or marginalized communities,” said Paul H. Benson, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. “She is uniquely positioned to build on the foundation of our Office of Diversity and Inclusion to guide the University in executing the Flyers Plan for Community Excellence. Her expertise makes her a valuable resource for units as they begin implementing their diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plans.”

Taylor Smith’s professional experience also includes serving as president and founder of the consulting and coaching company, Culture Learning Partners; as senior manager for diversity and organizational capability for Procter & Gamble; as a research associate on multicultural issues in counseling at Fordham University; and presenting nationally on topics related to cultural conversations. Taylor Smith expects to graduate from UD with a doctorate in educational leadership in December 2022.

A graduate of Archbishop Alter High School whose family continues to reside in Dayton, Taylor Smith said coming back to Dayton after her career called her away for more than 30 years has been more exciting than she ever imagined possible.

“Even while I was away, Dayton was always and still is my hometown,” she said. “I am excited to contribute my skills, talents and passions in continuing to build an inclusive campus community steeped in our Catholic and Marianist values. I will continue to anchor the University's efforts in our collaborations and partnerships with the city of Dayton and surrounding communities.”

More information on the University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is available online.


News and Communications Staff