UA names diversity institute chief

FAYETTEVILLE -- A new diversity initiative aiming for a statewide presence will be led by an assistant dean with experience in human resources, the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville has announced.

Elecia Smith begins Monday as executive director of the IDEALS Institute at the University of Arkansas, a name that comes from the words inclusion, diversity, equity, access, leadership and strategic supports.

The IDEALS Institute is set to open this fall and aims to deliver training and research services for UA and other entities through partnerships with public schools, businesses and government agencies, according to the university.

"Research shows that diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in leadership can increase a company's bottom line, drive innovation, attract talent and foster growth -- all of which translate to positive outcomes for our campus, region and state," Yvette Murphy-Erby, UA's vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, said in a statement.

Smith began working at UA in October 2009, said UA spokesman Steve Voorhies. She currently serves as assistant dean of human resources, diversity and faculty services in the university's liberal arts college.

Voorhies said Smith earns $92,389 as assistant dean and will earn $115,000 as leader of the new institute.

The Society of Human Resource Management, a membership organization, describes diversity as referring to similarities and differences between people that account for their identity, with age, race, gender and sexual orientation among different facets of diversity.

Metro on 05/12/2019

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