-- DeWese, a Queens College and City University of New York Alumna, Will Work to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as Envisioned in the College’s 2021–26 Strategic Plan --
Flushing, New York, November 3, 2021—In his November 1 State of the College address, Queens College President Frank H. Wu announced the appointment of Jerima DeWese as the school’s first chief diversity officer (CDO)/dean of diversity. DeWese, who earned an MA in Urban Affairs and Public Management from Queens College in 2011, has more than two decades of higher education experience in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), student affairs, academic affairs, enrollment management, human resources, diversity and compliance, alumni affairs, and fundraising and development.
The college created the role of CDO/dean of diversity at the senior leadership level, supplementing the duties of the existing Title IX compliance officer, to enrich its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“Following a national search, I am delighted to announce Jerima DeWese as chief diversity officer/dean of diversity,” said Wu. “She brings extensive experience from both the public and private higher education sectors to the position and will provide essential leadership to help us advance diversity, equity, and inclusion as prominently envisioned in our new Strategic Plan. As an alumna, Jerima is well-acquainted with our exceptionally diverse student body; this perspective, in addition to her expertise, made her an excellent candidate. It gives me great pleasure to welcome her home to the college.” Wu added, “Together, with Michael Das, our deeply committed Title IX compliance officer, Jerima will be rolling out anti-bias training that will address not only egregious discrimination, but also implicit bias.”
Most recently, DeWese served as the chief diversity and affirmative action officer, Title IX coordinator, and ADA Section 504 compliance officer at Purchase College of the State University of New York (SUNY) where she oversaw the school’s Office of Diversity and Compliance and its Multicultural Center. While at Purchase, she created and implemented a DEI Call to Action Plan comprising nine points to symbolize the nine minutes-long assault resulting in George Floyd’s death; secured grant funding for campus faculty diversification efforts; conceived, implemented, and oversaw campus-wide Title IV, VI, VII, IX and Section 504/ADA compliance laws, requirements, trainings, instructional programs and activities; implemented and facilitated campus-wide anti-bias training for all college stakeholders; secured and maintained Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation for the college; and chaired the college’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan committee.
”As a New Yorker, a product of the City University of New York (CUNY) system and a Queens College alumna, I am truly honored to be given this opportunity to serve as chief diversity officer/dean of diversity of Queens College,” said DeWese. “I am so looking forward to the fulfilling experience to collaborate and partner with the entire Queens College community (students, faculty, and staff) to (as stated in the Queens College mission statement) ‘prepare all students to serve as innovative leaders in a diverse world that they make more equitable and inclusive.’”
As CDO/dean of diversity, DeWese will partner with the president and campus constituents in spearheading efforts to establish diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence as core values throughout all aspects of the Queens College community. She will champion the importance and value of a diverse and inclusive college environment and lead the development of a vision and effective strategy to create such a culture. The CDO/dean will work with all levels of the institution to promote processes and procedures to positively impact student, faculty and staff development, community relations, and organizational effectiveness by recommending diversity-oriented programs and initiatives.
DeWese has served in senior
administrative and educational leadership positions in the areas of student
affairs, student development and campus life, career and transfer services,
enrollment management, gifts and records, development and external affairs, and
admissions services. She holds an MA in urban affairs/public management from
Queens College, CUNY, a BS in public administration/human resources
administration, and an AAS in business management/human resources.
About Queens College
Queens College produces more education graduates who become principals, teachers, and counselors for the city’s public schools than any other college in the metropolitan area. The college contributes to the local talent pool as a powerful economic engine and a leader in tech education. Students from across the country and around the world are attracted to study at the Aaron Copland School of Music. Its renowned faculty and alumni include nationally recognized composers, conductors, and performers who have received over 100 Grammy Awards and nominations.
Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, the college helps its more than 20,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college has been cited by Princeton Review as one of America's Best Value Colleges for four consecutive years, as well as being ranked a U.S. News and World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit our homepage to learn more.