Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer Named

by APU Life

Taking the helm of a robust and growing area at APU, Kimberly Battle-Walters Denu, Ph.D., accepted the role of vice president/chief diversity officer in summer 2015. This historic position aims to centralize campus-wide diversity initiatives, provide strategic leadership, and support the university’s ongoing commitment to diversity.

In addition to managing new and current diversity initiatives, Denu will oversee two main areas. The Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence (formerly the Office of Diversity), under the leadership of Richard Martinez, Ed.D., executive director, and Susan Warren, Ph.D., director of diversity programs, provides diversity support and resources to faculty and staff. The Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity, under the leadership of Aaron Hinojosa, acting executive director, and Kristine Cody, associate director, provides support and resources to students. Denu’s background and experience lend a distinct element of sensitivity and compassion to her leadership style that will serve these offices well.

With a master’s degree in social work from Temple University and a doctorate in sociology with an emphasis in race and family from the University of Florida, Denu brings solid academic training to her new position. Throughout her 18-year tenure at APU, she has also taught as a full-time faculty member in social work and sociology, and served as faculty moderator, associate provost, vice provost, and special advisor to the president and provost. Her rich experience and expertise contributed to her earning a Fulbright award to South Africa in 2002 and inclusion as a Fulbright senior specialist. An alumna of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Institute of Educational Management, she has presented at the World Summit and Oxford University, and as an ordained minister, Denu has served as a missionary on six continents.

Her published work includes articles on African American issues, family and women’s matters, social welfare, and international topics. Her first book, Sheila’s Shop: Working-Class African American Women Talk about Life, Love, Race, and Hair (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004), earned a place on a Los Angeles Times list as one of the top 10 African American books that year. In 2014, she and her mother coedited Mothers Are Leader(ACU Press), an influential book that connects motherhood with leadership.

Originally published in the Fall '15 issue of APU Life. Download the PDF or view all issues.