LEWISTON — Bates College is hiring a new vice president for equity and inclusion.

The college’s president, Clayton Spencer, said in a prepared statement Thursday that Noelle Chaddock, an administrator at Rhodes College in Tennessee, will take the newly updated job effective June 1.

“Noelle will be an inspiring leader, partner, and colleague as we continue to challenge ourselves to better realize the founding promise of this college,” Spencer said.

Chaddock’s hiring comes in the wake of calls in recent years for the college to do more to ensure racial justice, including pressure from students unhappy with what some perceived as bias against racial minorities.

Chadock will succeed Crystal Williams, who held a similar post between 2013 and 2017, when she left for a new job at Boston University. She served as an  associate vice president and chief diversity officer at Bates, overseeing the Office of Equity and Diversity and the Office of Intercultural Education.

Bates said it has “redoubled efforts to achieve greater institution-wide equity and inclusion” in response, including “significant initiatives throughout the academic program” aided by grants and donations.

“I am terribly excited to continue the work of equity, inclusion, access, and social justice at Bates College and in the Lewiston-Auburn community,” Chaddock said in a release from the college.

“In visiting Bates, it was clear that there is a deep investment in this work across the institution,” Chaddock said. “This matters greatly to me. The opportunity to work with my new colleagues, our stakeholders, and the brilliant students at Bates in a position shaped and based on best practices is extremely compelling.”

Bates said its new vice president “will work with Bates faculty across all disciplines,” with a focus on improving the curriculum and teaching as well as the “recruitment and retention of new faculty, with particular attention to those traditionally underrepresented in the academy.”

Chaddock will play a role in staff hiring and employment as the college tries to expand its diversity.

“The Bates community seems to have a strong sense of what it takes to move through examinations of power and privilege while also stewarding the college’s most important values,” Chaddock said. “I think we will do some amazing and impactful work over the coming years.”

Spencer said she is glad Chaddock is coming “at a moment of such promise for our work in equity and inclusion.”

“Noelle brings a wealth of experience to this role, a clear and compelling vision of why the work is important, and a record of exceptional diligence and effectiveness in carrying it out,” she said.

During a speech to first-year Rhodes students this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the slaying of Martin Luther King Jr., Chaddock said, “The desire for human equity” in American society “still cannot be put down.”

“No individual — no group, no identity — stands alone,” Chaddock said. “Our humanity is intertwined, and our histories have traveled together. It is not possible, no matter how we perform our realities, to pull them apart.”

Chaddock has served as the associate provost and deputy Title IX coordinator at Rhodes College for the past two years.

Before that, Chaddock served as director of multicultural life and diversity at the State University of New York at Cortland before rising to become its first diversity officer. Chaddock also taught at both SUNY-Cortland and Rhodes.

Chaddock earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the State University of New York at Binghamton, including a doctorate in philosophy, interpretation and culture.

A 12-member committee chaired by professor of politics Stephen Engel oversaw the national search to fill the Bates position.

Engel said the panel “was deeply impressed by Noelle’s collegiality, passion, and demonstrated effectiveness as a leader.”

He added, “Noelle has what Bates needs in this position: the ability to bring groups and individuals to common ground across lines of difference, a deep commitment to engaging collaboratively with all campus constituencies, and the skill to effectively address their needs and concerns.”

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Noelle Chaddock (SUNY-Cortland photo)

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