Holy Cross Names Tomicka Wagstaff as New Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Key administrative role provides leadership and strategic direction for the College’s efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion

College of the Holy Cross announced Wednesday it has hired Tomicka Wagstaff, an experienced leader in the field, as its new vice provost for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Wagstaff, who currently serves as assistant vice president for student access and success at Rochester Institute of Technology, will join the college in January. As vice provost she will provide leadership and strategic direction for the College’s efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We are thrilled to welcome Tomicka Wagstaff to Holy Cross as our new vice provost,” said Holy Cross President Vincent D. Rougeau. “Dr. Wagstaff distinguished herself from other finalists through her creative and calculable DEI work, and nationally respected experience in promoting anti-racism and inclusion on a college campus. I know Tomicka will be a fearless advocate for our community, and will provide the leadership necessary to embolden our community to continue to make real, meaningful and lasting change.”

While at RIT, Wagstaff created and implemented diversity, equity and inclusion curriculum, and oversaw data-driven programs and initiatives focused on elimination of student achievement gaps, which led to a 15% jump in graduation rates among underrepresented students.

Wagstaff received her B.S. in sociology and M.S. in student personnel administration from Buffalo State College and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Rochester.

“It is truly an honor and a blessing to be joining the Holy Cross family as the vice provost for diversity, equity and inclusion,” Wagstaff said. “There has already been a lot of intentional and meaningful work done in the area of DEI. I look forward to being a thought partner with campus stakeholders as I aim to create a culture of care and belonging for all community members.”

Over the past several years, Holy Cross has focused heavily on diversity and inclusion initiatives. The College recently implemented an anti-racism action plan, and established a permanent Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on its Board of Trustees. Over the past five years, 36% of Holy Cross tenure-track faculty hires self-identify as African American or Black; Hispanic or Latinx; Asian, Asian American or Pacific Islander; or multi-racial.