A thought leader on the issue of diversity in higher education, Bruce King, the assistant to the president for institutional diversity and chief diversity officer at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., will visit Hobart and William Smith to deliver the presentation, “Wherever You Go, There ‘We’ Are.” Focusing on black studies, black lives and diversity, King’s talk will take place on Wednesday, April 6 at 4:30 p.m. in the Geneva Room.
From his early days in student life and campus activities to his current role at St. Olaf, King’s work has focused on positively impacting both the climate and inclusion rates for historically under-represented populations in all forms of education at the K-12 level and in higher education. At St. Olaf, he works to improve access and equity as he also advances the recruitment, matriculation and retention of under-represented faculty, staff and students.
“Hobart and William Smith are extremely privileged to be hosting Bruce King,” says Assistant Professor of Political Science Justin Rose. “At a moment when black Americans all throughout the nation have been forced to create a movement declaring that black lives matter, and students of color feel compelled to protest the many ways in which they are being marginalized on college campuses across the nation, his presence at HWS could not be timelier.”
King’s visit is hosted by the Africana Studies Program in conjunction with the Office of the President. While on campus, King will meet with Sankofa and individually with students who identify as part of marginalized populations.
“King is an administrator who has a proven track record of not only diversifying colleges where he has worked, but also ensuring that these students from diverse backgrounds thrive at historically white institutions,” Rose says. “He has not confined his expertise to his college alone. He was a founding member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, and currently serves on the steering committee for the Liberal Arts Diversity Officers Consortium and the Consortium for Faculty Diversity.”
King joined the senior administrative team at St. Olaf College in August of 2008. He came to the college from the University of South Dakota where he served as assistant vice president for academic affairs and chief diversity officer. King is a graduate of Iowa State University where he received a bachelor’s of science in sociology and social work and an MSW from the University of Iowa. King has also been a fellow at the Humphry School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and this summer will complete his second training institute at Harvard University.
In addition to his work at St. Olaf and the University of South Dakota, King has also served on the staffs of Hope, Lake Forest and Carleton colleges, as well as associate dean of the College at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. His professional work crosses both secondary and higher education having worked with two Minnesota school districts in the areas of desegregation compliance and program development. King’s commitment to professional development and service include membership positions with several educational, civic and non-profit organizations including the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education; LifeSource Organ Procurement Organization for the Upper-Midwest; United Network Organ Sharing Minority Affairs Committee; Northfield Area Foundation; United Way Board of Directors for Vermillion, South Dakota; Northfield Police Commission and Review Board; and convener of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Diversity Officers.
St. Olaf is a private liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has a current enrollment of 3,000 students.