UNLV Names Interim Chief Diversity Officer

Mar. 24, 2021

Vice President for Student Affairs Juanita Fain has been named interim chief diversity officer, effective April 14, 2021. UNLV will conduct a national search for the position.

“Dr. Fain has long championed inclusion and equity on campus for students and faculty,” President Keith E. Whitfield said. “Her leadership and understanding of UNLV’s diverse campus community will ensure the office of Diversity Initiatives continues its work to keep our university moving in the right direction.”

Fain steps in for Chief Diversity Officer Barbee Oakes, who announced last month her plans to retire in April after having led the office since 2017.

“I’m honored to serve as interim chief diversity officer,” Fain said. She joined UNLV in 1996 and has held numerous leadership roles. “I invite campus to join me in continuing to work for social justice, equity and inclusion on campus and across our community. I look forward to engaging you to define the most effective roles and responsibilities for the office of Diversity Initiatives."

The office of Diversity Initiatives develops programs and services to advance structural and institutional changes that promote a campus climate of inclusion and equity, such as:

  • Resource coordination for undocumented students;
  • Seminars and workshops for the UNLV Faculty Center to share best practices for equity and inclusion in the classroom;
  • Training in partnership with Faculty Affairs and Human Resources to improve hiring practices among faculty and staff who serve on search committees;
  • Cultivating community philanthropy and giving toward UNLV diversity initiatives that support student success;
  • Overseeing The Intersection, UNLV’s multicultural academic resource center.

UNLV’s chief diversity officer also is a leading voice on the Nevada System of Higher Education Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council, advocating for a systemwide approach to improving equity in the state’s universities and colleges.

As vice president for Student Affairs, Fain oversees the division’s more than 500 staff members who support students, families, faculty, and policy makers, while guiding strategic support programs and services. She holds a doctorate degree in higher education administration from Ohio University. Fain earned her master’s degree in educational psychology and bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.