Holy Cross Hires Amit Taneja to Fill New Role as Chief Diversity Officer

Following a national search, the College of the Holy Cross has announced the hiring of Amit Taneja as the associate dean for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. This is a new position at Holy Cross and is part of the institution’s continuing efforts to support diversity and inclusion across the College.

“I am delighted to welcome Amit to Holy Cross, and I am excited about his new role at the College,” says Margaret Freije, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. “The creation of this position is the next step in the College’s effort to respond to the call in our mission statement to ‘build a community marked by freedom, mutual respect, and civility’” explains Freije. “We are looking forward to utilizing Amit’s skills and experience in this area to foster our commitment to diversity and inclusion as an integral part of teaching, learning, and working at a Jesuit, liberal arts institution.”

Prior to Holy Cross, Taneja was the director of diversity and inclusion at Hamilton College for two years. In his role he coordinated the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Team; assisted the dean of faculty with faculty recruitment, hiring and retention; directed the Days-Massolo Cultural Education Center and provided oversight for the Posse Program at Hamilton, a partnership with the Posse Foundation. The organization provides support, including college scholarships and mentoring, for students from under-resourced high schools. Prior to his work at Hamilton, he served as special assistant to the senior vice provost for equity and inclusion at Syracuse University.

“I am excited to join the Holy Cross community and become part of a larger movement that is committed to service and justice,” says Taneja. “The chief diversity officer role speaks volumes to the Colleges’ ongoing commitment to diversity issues. As a country and a global society, we are at an important crossroad about basic human questions, whether it be unrest in Ferguson or Sudan. The College is committed to preparing students to be active global citizens who not only have the skills and knowledge to engage with these issues but more importantly the moral imperative and drive to do so.”

In his new position, Taneja will be collaborating with the dean's office, and academic departments to support diversity and inclusion within the curriculum at the College and in the recruitment, hiring and retention of faculty. He will chair the Diversity Leadership Team, a committee appointed by the president of the College that advocates for a community where multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusion are embedded into the mission of the College. He will be a resource for many departments and programs on campus to support college-wide diversity efforts across a broad range of platforms. His role will also be critical in facilitating a wide-range of conversations on diversity and inclusion at the College.

Born and raised in India, Taneja moved with his family to Canada when he was 18 years-old. He earned his B.A. in psychology from the University of British Columbia and his M.A. in college student personnel from Bowling Green University in Ohio. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in higher education at Syracuse University. Taneja has recently written on the topic of LGBT student services in Canadian higher education in a forthcoming book titled “Serving Diverse Students in Canadian Higher Education: Models and Practices for Success” (McGill-Queen’s University Press), to be released in 2015. He has been an invited speaker and consultant for many universities throughout the U.S. and Canada for his expert knowledge of diversity and inclusion in higher education.

Taneja will be joined by Greta Kenney in her new role as associate director of diversity and inclusion. Kenney came to Holy Cross in 2013 as the coordinator of diversity leadership and education and has made significant contributions to the College in this area.