Valerie Lee Named Vice President for Outreach and Engagement

March 8, 2012

Earlier today, President E. Gordon Gee sent the following email to all members of the OSU community:

      I write to share the good news that Valerie Lee, the University's Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, has accepted the additional role of Vice President for Outreach and Engagement, effective immediately. While this is not a merger of the two units, the roles have been combined under her leadership to leverage her broad academic experience to expand the reach of our faculty's expertise more thoroughly into the community.

For the past 21 years, Dr. Lee has served as an award-winning faculty member, department chair, and administrative leader at Ohio State. As Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, she is responsible for:

  • management of educational pipeline, pathway, and outreach programs for nine Ohio urban districts
  • promotion of recruitment and retention of underrepresented, first-generation, and low-income students
  • oversight of the Todd A. Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male and the Frank W. Hale, Jr., Black Cultural Center, and
  • coordination of national conferences and community projects, among other responsibilities.

Dr. Lee, a professor of English, has published extensively in the areas of 20th-century literature, African American literature and theory, critical race studies, multicultural pedagogy, higher education
administration, and outreach and engagement. She has presented her scholarship throughout the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Her national leadership includes service as past president of the Association of Departments of English, the national organization for English professors. She has received numerous community and national
recognitions, including awards from the College Fund, the NAACP, and the Columbus YWCA Woman of Achievement.

Until earlier this year, the Office of Outreach and Engagement was led by Joyce Beatty, who left the University to become a candidate to represent Ohio's 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of
Representatives. I am happy to report that she was successful in her bid to win the 3rd District primary and will proceed to the general election in November. As Ohio State's Outreach and Engagement leader, Ms. Beatty proved a staunch and effective advocate for extending the reach of the University's resources more broadly and established new partnerships with K-12 administrators.

Dr. Lee is the ideal person to build upon and extend that work, and I know you will join me in congratulating her on her new, additional role.


E. Gordon Gee