Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Selects Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Amanda Castro-Crist

May 2, 2018

Carol Sumner

Carol A. Sumner, the senior associate dean of students at Arizona State University, will begin her new role June 18.

Texas Tech University has named Arizona State University's (ASU) Carol A. Sumner as vice president of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. She will begin her new role June 18.

Sumner, the senior associate dean of students at the ASU Tempe campus, will fill the position held by interim vice president Elizabeth Sharp, associate chair and associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) within the College of Human Sciences. Sharp began serving in the position on May 1, 2017, when previous vice president Juan Muñoz began a new role as president of the University of Houston-Downtown.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to help advance the goals of the university and the work that has already been done to help build a welcoming and inclusive community,” Sumner said. “I'm humbled because this is an exceptionally important role that is literally breaking new ground on what it means to be a student at Texas Tech now, in the coming years and at a time when we look more intentionally into the next century of Texas Tech. That I can be part of that is incredible.”

Sumner arrived at the Phoenix campus of ASU in 2006 and has served in several positions with the university, including working as a member of the TRIO Student Support Services program and as director of the University Academic Success Programs (UASP) at the West campus and founding director of the same programs at the Downtown Phoenix campus. The UASP programs are part of a university-wide unit that provides services and initiatives to support the academic success and retention of all ASU students.

In July 2012, Sumner began serving the Tempe campus of ASU as an associate dean in the Office of the Dean of Students. The following year, she was appointed to her current role as senior associate dean.

“Dr. Sumner has professional experience and personal qualities that make her exceptionally qualified to serve as vice president for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Texas Tech University,” said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech president. “She is a great addition to Texas Tech University, and I look forward to working alongside her, along with our faculty, staff and students as we continue to advance a culture of diversity and inclusion at Texas Tech.”

At ASU, Sumner has served as the university lead for Culture@ASU, which identifies and celebrates a diverse and multifaceted university culture through art, food, music, lectures and the celebration of traditions, among other things. She led the University International Student Service Committee, which includes 33 partner departments, and has served as liaison for the ASU Council of Religious Advisers, which includes university partners and 49 active, faith-based organizations.

Sumner also served as university chair for the Committee for Campus Inclusion, as a member of the ASU Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and as a member of the ASU Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee. Her career in higher education includes positions at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri; Illinois State University; and Wilberforce University.

“The key in our work is creating a sense of community and really making individuals feel like they matter and they belong, and that however they bring themselves into that space, we welcome them,” Sumner said. “There is nothing better than seeing students buy into it because they realize the value in their involvement and inclusion.”

Sumner earned her bachelor's degree in public relations with a minor in Spanish, and her master's degree in higher and postsecondary education at Illinois State University. She earned her doctorate in higher and postsecondary education from ASU. Though she's originally from Texas, Sumner had never been to the South Plains before her interview at Texas Tech. She said she's excited to experience all Texas Tech and the surrounding area have to offer.

“I would like to acknowledge Dr. Elizabeth Sharp for her leadership as interim vice president for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and thank the search committee, search chair Dr. Aliza Wong and Marion Frenche of Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. for presenting four highly qualified and talented finalists,” Schovanec said. “I commend them for delivering a successful search process.”