José Villalba named VP for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer

This announcement was emailed to students, faculty and staff on May 10 by President Nathan Hatch and Provost Rogan Kersh:

Dear Wake Forest Students, Faculty and Staff,

Provost Rogan Kersh and I are delighted to announce that, after an extensive national search, José Villalba has been appointed Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, effective July 1. As Vice President, Dr. Villalba will hold a Cabinet-level position while leading University-wide efforts to advance equity, diversity and inclusion.

Named Wake Forest’s interim Chief Diversity Officer in August 2017, Dr. Villalba previously served in the Office of the Dean of the College, most recently as senior associate dean for faculty, evaluation and inclusivity. In this role, he participated in student-facing initiatives, worked with faculty and staff development efforts related to diversity and inclusion, and was instrumental in faculty recruitment and retention for the undergraduate College.

Dr. Villalba has already proven to be a key partner for offices and departments across the University and will continue to build on Wake Forest’s strong foundation for enhancing inclusion and diversity at Wake Forest. He is a thought leader with highly relevant teaching and research expertise, great enthusiasm for building community, and extensive experience developing effective programs and initiatives.

He has taught courses in multicultural counseling, career counseling, health and human services, and has supervised counseling interns. His research expertise is highly relevant for this vital role, ranging across health disparities in Latina/o youth, multicultural counseling, and minority populations’ access to and completion of higher education. He is the author or co-author of dozens of academic papers and book chapters.

Dr. Villalba came to Wake Forest as an associate professor of counseling in 2011. Previously, he was an associate professor of counseling at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an assistant professor of counseling at Indiana State University. At the University of Florida, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, Master of Education and Education Specialist degrees in school guidance and counseling, and a doctorate in counselor education.

I am immensely grateful to the search committee, chaired by Provost Kersh, that provided valuable input throughout the search process. The committee was impressed with Dr. Villalba’s talent for building relationships across difference and his commitment to embracing the strengths that each individual brings to the University community.

Issues of diversity and inclusion are more important than ever in our society. We are appreciative of Dr. Villalba’s leadership in this vital role. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Villalba.


Nathan O. Hatch

Rogan Kersh