UNLV Names Barbee Oakes as Chief Diversity Officer

Jul. 6, 2017

Campus community, 
The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost is pleased to announce that Dr. Barbee Oakes has accepted UNLV’s offer to become its new Chief Diversity Officer, effective September 1, 2017. I want to thank Dr. Juanita Fain, Vice President for Student Affairs, 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 Dr. Rainier Spencer, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, for his work and leadership as Interim Chief Diversity Officer.
Dr. Oakes brings to UNLV a wealth of leadership experience in the area of diversity and inclusion in higher education. She was the driving force in developing successful diversity initiatives at her former institution, where she became its first chief diversity officer and served as assistant provost for diversity and inclusion. We are eager to welcome her to join us in our efforts to foster diversity and inclusion at UNLV.
She comes to UNLV from Wake Forest University, in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where she additionally had served as director for Wake Forest University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and as coordinator of the Undergraduate Health and Exercise Science Majors Programs.
Dr. Oakes’ work at Wake Forest University earned her several national awards and recognition, including being named in 2012 as one of 25 Women Making a Difference in Higher Education by Diverse Issues in Higher Education Magazine.
“Cross-cultural leadership has been named the top leadership challenge for the next century,” Oakes said. “With the second-most diverse student body in the nation, UNLV is a model of the future demographic diversity of America. I am passionately committed to working with President Len Jessup and Provost Diane Chase to cultivate a campus culture that leverages the unique diversity of the UNLV community as a competitive advantage.”
As the Chief Diversity Officer at UNLV, Dr. Oakes said she plans to develop a strategic plan for diversifying the professoriate, strengthening cross-cultural leadership skills and promoting equity in institutional policies and practices to maintain a campus climate that engenders a sense of belonging for every member of the UNLV community.
UNLV boasts more than 52 cultural, ethnic and religious-based student organizations, and in 2012, achieved designation from the Department of Education as a Title III & Title V Minority Serving Institution (MSI). Additionally, in 2015, UNLV achieved designations as an Asian-American and Native-American, Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI), and as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).
Dr. Oakes holds a doctorate in exercise physiology and nutrition from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She was the first African American female with a doctorate in the American College of Sports Medicine. She holds a master’s degree in exercise physiology and a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science, both from Wake Forest University.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Barbee Oakes to UNLV.