Harriet E. Barlow

Executive Director, Academic Multicultural Center
Expertise: Student development and organizational leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, Title IX Compliance


Harriet E. Barlow, a native of Illinois, earned a B.S. in Secondary Education (Speech Communication), an M.S. in Guidance and Educational Psychology (Human Learning and Development) and a Ph.D. in Education (Academic Administration and Budgeting) all at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. While at SIUC, she served as adjunct assistant professor in both the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Social Work. She also served as the coordinator of the minority student enrollment and associate director of student development. Of particular note, Barlow was appointed the first director of the Illinois Minority Incentive Grant program (now Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois), a statewide initiative to increase the number of minority full-time tenure track faculty and staff in the state's two- and four-year, public and private colleges and universities.

Barlow came to UNLV in 1997 as director of student recruitment for the Graduate College. She was promoted to associate dean and developed a strong suite of student service programs that included thesis/dissertation compliance workshops, Graduate Student Professional Development programs, New Graduate Student Orientation, and coordination of the college's publications and handbooks. In 1999, she planned and implemented the first graduate student research symposium, now recognized as one of the signature programs coordinated by the UNLV Graduate and Professional Student Association, and began working with the UNLV Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach as the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Summer Research program. Other Graduate College initiatives attributed to Dr. Barlow of note include the coordination of new graduate student orientation and the doctoral hooding reception.

In June 2011, Barlow joined the UNLV Office of Diversity Initiatives as an assistant vice president. She developed, implemented, coordinated, and collaborated on many programs and initiatives that support UNLV’s diversity mission to nurture equity, diversity, and inclusiveness and that promote respect, support, and empowerment. These programs and initiatives include the establishment of the Diversity Leadership Forum Series, the Cultural Competence Academy, the 2011 Got College! Rally and Tailgate, and faculty focus group sessions. In addition, Barlow served as UNLV’s Title IX compliance coordinator from 2011-15.

Barlow assumed the duties of executive director of the UNLV Academic Multicultural Resource Center in January 2016. She is responsible for establishing a center that emphasizes and supports student development through personal advising, advocacy, leadership development opportunities, cultural diversity education, and cultural programming, and a connection to campus and community resources. In addition, the center will be designed to foster a supportive University community that educates and provides resources for all members of the University community about issues related to the experiences and perceptions of underrepresented students. 

In addition, to her extensive background in student services and affairs, Dr. Barlow has served on many UNLV service committees, including

  • Chair of the UNLV Department of Public Safety Advisory Board
  • Student Recruitment and Retention Task Force
  • Just, and Inclusive Campus Community Committee
  • Planning Initiative Award Committee
  • Regents Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Advisor Awards Committee
  • Full Participation Committee
  • University Advocacy Support Response Team Against Violence
  • University Climate Survey Task Force.

She has also served on the Faculty Senate Peer Review, Grievance, and Ad Hoc Executive Administrative Hires Committees; Distressed Student Task Force; Commencement Committee; Minority Student Recruitment and Retention Task Force; Administrative Faculty Council; and the Marketing Council.

In recognition for her excellent service to students and the university, Barlow has received numerous honors and awards, including the 2014 Greek Woman of the Year awarded by the Pi Pi Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. of Henderson, Nevada. She is the recipient of numerous congressional recognitions from current and former members of Congress, including Sens. Harry Reid, John Ensign, and Dean Heller. In addition, Dr. Barlow is a member of the SIUC Hall of Fame of the Black Affairs Council, Mentor of the Year Award from the Black Graduate Student Association, establishment of the Harriet E. Wilson Barlow Scholarship by the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Buick Outstanding Volunteer Spirit Award, Fred L. McDowell Award for Academic Achievement and Service to Higher Education, the Dwight D. Eisenhower High School Distinguished Alumni Award, National Society of Collegiate Scholars Inductee, and Ally nominee.

A life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Barlow resides in Henderson, Nevada, with her husband Ernest and daughters Ashley and Amber, both UNLV alumnae.


  • Ph.D., Education, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
  • M.S., Guidance and Educational Psychology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
  • B.S., Secondary Education, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

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Harriet E. Barlow In The News

K.L.A.S. T.V. 8 News Now
February 11, 2019
It's that time of year where high school students explore options for college and Friday UNLV welcomed hundreds of African American students to find out if they'd like UNLV to become their future home.
Las Vegas Review Journal
February 11, 2019
Harriet Barlow, who heads a multicultural academic resource center at UNLV, told a group of 275 African American students that she is “living proof of the value of higher education.”
K.N.P.R. News
April 20, 2017
UNLV takes the wraps off this week on a new one-stop multicultural resource center that’s intended to serve one of the most diverse student populations in the country.
December 19, 2014

Articles Featuring Harriet E. Barlow

Crowd of students
Campus News | September 9, 2014

UNLV ranks sixth for undergraduate ethnic diversity, according to U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges" publication; university ranked in top ten for fourth consecutive year.