Administrator over diversity resigns

Karen Dace, associate vice president for diversity, resigned Thursday to take a job at another university.

Dace will leave the U in February to work as Deputy Chancellor for Diversity, Access and Equity at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

While Dace said leaving the U was one of the hardest decisions she has made in her professional life, ultimately the position was too attractive to turn down.

“It’s really the next step in my career,” Dace said. “I also believe the next person in my position will be able to take the (office) to the next level.”

A committee of U faculty members has been created to find a replacement for Dace.

U president Mike Young said Dace has made significant steps in furthering diversity at the U during the seven years she has headed the office.

“Karen’s impact on the culture of this institution will be felt for years to come,” Young said in a statement. “She has planted seeds of change that will now be left for others to nurture and harvest.”

Administrators said some of Dace’s key accomplishments at the U include expanding the number of female and minority faculty members, promoting multicultural events and creating the Utah Opportunity Scholarship program.

Dace’s resignation comes several months after U administrators were considering removing the Utah Opportunity Scholars program from under Dace’s office and putting it under a new associate vice president.

Administrators decided against the move and instead increased funding for Dace’s office to hire new directors for several diversity centers on campus.

Dace, who spoke out against the initial plan to put the Utah Opportunity Scholarships under a new administrator, said her decision to step down had nothing to do with the proposed move.

“That had already turned around before I looked at this (new position),” Dace said.

Dave Pershing, senior vice president for academic affairs, stated in an e-mail to administrators and faculty members that the responsibilities of the position will not change after Dace leaves.

Jeremiah Chin, a student and recipient of the Utah Opportunity Scholarship, said he thinks Dace is resigning because of the administration’s attempt to move the scholarship from under her control. Chin said he has not spoken to Dace about her decision to step down.

“The way I see it, the U is playing around with her position?so for her to shop around, that was only expected,” Chin said.

Courtesy of Karen Dace

Karen Dace