LEWISTON — Crystal Ann Williams of Reed College in Portland, Ore., has been named associate vice president and chief diversity officer at Bates College, effective Nov. 4.

Williams will oversee the Office of Equity and Diversity and the Office of Intercultural Education, and will serve as a member of the president’s senior staff.

Currently dean for institutional diversity and a faculty member in creative writing at Reed, Williams is a widely published poet and author who will join the English department at Bates as a professor.

Williams will work closely with Heather Lindkvist, Bates’ Title IX officer, who has responsibility for all aspects of Title IX programming, training and compliance, as well as issues relating to policies and practices concerning sexual respect and misconduct.

At Reed, Williams established the first office for institutional diversity, developing a strategic vision and mission, as well as institution-wide programs. Collaborating broadly with campus colleagues, she designed and put training and assessment processes into place to further diversity and inclusivity.

She was instrumental in enhancing faculty search processes, which resulted in a 50 percent increase in faculty diversity in tenure-track hires in the last academic year.

Williams is a national award-winning poet and author of creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including PEN America, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, The Sun and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry.

Williams was raised in Detroit, Mich., and Madrid, Spain. She received a bachelor’s degree from New York University in 1997 and a master of fine arts degree from Cornell University in 2000. She joined the Reed faculty in 2000, where she taught creative writing and received tenure in 2007.


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