May. 19, 2022


Campus community, 

I am pleased to announce that Seval Yildirim will serve as UNLV’s new Vice President for Diversity Initiatives & Chief Diversity Officer, effective July 1, 2022. 

I want to thank Professor Jaci Batista and Ericka Smith, Vice President for Human Resources and Chief People Officer, for leading the search, the entire search committee for their work, and all who participated in this rigorous search process. I also want to thank Juanita Fain for serving as Interim Chief Diversity Officer this past year, in addition to her role as Vice President for Student Affairs.

Seval Yildirim brings to UNLV a wealth of leadership experience in the area of diversity and inclusion in higher education. She has spent her higher education career advancing the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion through her scholarship and pro bono legal work on behalf of Muslims and other religious minorities.

She comes to UNLV from California State University, San Bernardino, where she served as Co-Chief Diversity Officer, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Development, and as a professor of global studies. At CSUSB, she led diversity initiatives and was steadfast in her commitment to strengthening and diversifying the institution’s faculty ranks through hiring, recruitment, and retention practices. 

“I am excited to join UNLV in this role," Yildirim said. "UNLV is a model of the future demographic diversity of America and I look forward to working with President Whitfield, Provost Heavey, and the entire university to help shape a campus culture that enhances the unique diversity of the UNLV community."

Seval Yildirim holds J.D. and LL.M. degrees from New York University School of Law, a master’s degree from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, and a bachelor’s degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.

I am delighted she will lead our efforts to foster diversity and inclusion on campus. Please join me in welcoming Seval to UNLV. 

Warm regards,

Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D. 
President, UNLV