On Friday, December 13 TCNJ President Kathryn A. Foster announced the appointment of James A. Felton III to the position of vice president for equity and inclusion, effective March 2, 2020.
Felton comes to the college from State University of New York at Cortland, where he serves as the chief diversity officer in the Office of the President. In his current role, Felton is responsible for the campus’s inclusive excellence framework, its diversity and inclusion strategic plan, and working with campus constituents to identify, establish, assess and update goals, objectives, and initiatives for diversity and inclusion.
“We are delighted that Mr. Felton is bringing his tremendous talents and experience to the college’s leadership team in this critical role,” Foster said. “I am confident he will help us realize our goal to create a campus culture where all members of our community prosper and thrive.”
“I am thrilled about the opportunity to serve in this inaugural role and to lead the college in becoming an exemplar of inclusive excellence in higher education,” Felton said. “I look forward to working with President Foster and the senior leadership as well as students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners to ensure that TCNJ is a welcoming and respectful environment for all.”
An educator, practitioner-scholar, author, mentor, and national leader in diversity in higher education, Felton recently received recognition as Top Chief Diversity Officer of the Year for 2019 by the International Association of Top Professionals for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the profession. Felton is on the editorial board for INSIGHT Into Diversity, the nation’s oldest and largest publication and website for diversity in higher education; is a member of the National Advisory Council of the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE); and serves as a member of the SUNY system’s diversity, equity, and inclusion committee.
At SUNY Cortland, Felton established a bias education and response team, developed a recruitment strategy to increase underrepresented faculty and staff, and established several programs including the Multicultural Male Initiative and the Beloved Community Narratives project.
Earlier in his career, Felton served as the chief diversity officer for Anne Arundel Community College, the director of the Department of Intercultural Affairs at Western Carolina University, director of diversity for Elizabethtown College, and director of multicultural affairs at Lebanon Valley College. He received a BA in psychology and an MS in educational administration from McDaniel College and is currently pursuing a PhD in global leadership studies with a specialization in academic administration from Indiana Institute of Technology.
— Luke Sacks