by Christine Baksi
Dickinson has named Tony Boston, an experienced diversity officer and equity advocate, as vice president and chief diversity officer. Boston had been serving as interim dean for institutional diversity and chief diversity officer at Reed College. He will join the Dickinson community on Oct. 24, becoming the college’s first CDO.
“This is a position we have needed for some time,” says President John E. Jones III ’77, P’11. “While much good work is being done on campus in this area, we need to structure and unify our efforts so that we can have a greater impact. I'm eager to welcome Tony and believe he is the right person to strengthen our diversity efforts and effectively move us forward as an institution where the values of inclusivity and equity are embedded in our community.”
As a member of the president’s senior leadership team, Boston will immediately begin working on Dickinson’s Inclusivity Strategic Plan, a roadmap to achieve the college’s priority to institutionalize inclusivity. “I look forward to partnering with all Dickinsonians to build and sustain a campus that engages with difference, prioritizes inclusion and is willing to examine and dismantle barriers to equitable access,” says Boston. “I was attracted to Dickinson because of the demonstrated commitment to academic rigor, self-reflection, critical inquiry and, equally important, its commitment to change. These elements are not only essential for advancing the educational mission of the college but are prerequisite for driving cultural change.”
At Reed, Boston led efforts to embed equity-minded practices in all aspects of the institution—from admissions and financial aid to student life and academic affairs. “Tony is a transformational leader,” says Reed College President Audrey Bilger. “He has an impressive breadth of experience in guiding discussions and actions to enhance institutional inclusivity and equity. Tony knows how to move from aspiration to reality. I am confident that he will be an outstanding member of the Dickinson community.”
Prior to taking that post, Boston was the senior associate dean and special advisor to the president at Pomona College. In this capacity, he was charged with developing the vision and tactics to create a culture of inclusive excellence. In this inaugural role, he sought to align diversity, equity and inclusion with the mission, values and strategic plan of the college. He used data from the campus climate surveys to develop strategic action items to improve campus climate, provided consultation on faculty recruiting and retention strategies, helped incorporate inclusive pedagogy practices, responded to bias-related incidents and helped to shape more equitable policies.
During his 14-year tenure at Pomona, Boston served as associate professor of physical education, associate dean of the college for research administration, deputy Title IX coordinator and diversity officer. Skilled in program assessment, Boston successfully led Pomona’s accreditation process, helping the college to earn a coveted 10-year reaccreditation.
“Tony is deeply committed to promoting equity and inclusion in higher education, and he helped to advance meaningful change at Pomona College," says Pomona College President Gabrielle Starr. "I’m confident he will play an essential role at Dickinson.”
Boston was a first-generation, low-income student who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Whittier College and a doctorate from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences. Boston began his career teaching science at an underserved urban high school, where he discovered his passion for access and equity work.
Published September 14, 2022