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BK's St. Francis College Gets Its First Permanent Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

Jeanne Arnold, Ed.D., will serve in the role starting July 1
St. Francis College
St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights. Photo: Courtesy of SFC.

Brooklyn's St. Francis College has tapped Jeanne Arnold, Ed.D., to serve as its first permanent chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

In the role, Arnold will oversee SFC's agenda to support an increasingly diverse student body and workforce, and champion programs and dialogue that lead to greater understanding of relevant issues, the school said in a press release.

Arnold most recently served as chief diversity officer at Gettysburg College, a job she started in 2014, and prior to that she held a similar role at Grand Valley State University.

She said she was "delighted" to start the role and elevate the college's "longstanding tradition of nurturing a hospitable environment through the development and implementation of a sustainable infrastructure to support DEI strategies."

"It's particularly exciting to be part of SFC Forward, as we prepare to move to a new campus to serve our diverse community of students, faculty and staff in even more creative and innovative ways."

In 2020, 24% of the SFC student population identified as Black and 28% as Hispanic. Women make up more than 60% of all students and the majority of the college's full-time faculty, the college said in a press release. Ten percent of the student body consists of international students, with enrollees coming from Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Serbia, Albania, Spain and more than 70 other countries, the school said.

SFC President Miguel Martinez-Saenz said Arnold would be instrumental as the college continued to embrace its "Franciscan commitment to being an inclusive community where all members feel like they belong."

Arnold will also serve as the college's chief of staff, and report directly to Martinez-Saenz as a member of his cabinet.

The appointment comes on the heels of the school's unveiling of the new initiative SFC Forward, in which the board and college leaders have committed to efforts promoting diversity, equity and inclusivity in all aspects of SFC.

"SFC Forward is a holistic effort to position the College to serve many future generations of students," Martinez-Saenz said. "The issues under Dr. Arnold's purview are absolutely critical to that mission."