In this inaugural senior leadership position, Cox will lead TU’s Office for Inclusion and Institutional Equity, the university’s diversity and compliance office.
Leah Cox, Ph.D., has been appointed Towson University’s inaugural vice president for
inclusion and institutional equity, effective January 23, 2017. This appointment resulted
from a national search that lasted several months and drew more than 50 highly qualified
candidates from around the nation.
Cox comes to TU from the University of Mary Washington where she served for the past six years as special assistant to the president and chief diversity officer, Title IX coordinator, and campus ombudsman. In this role, she chaired the President’s University Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, provided leadership and guidance to promote and enhance diversity and inclusion across the campus and community at large, and created a Diversity Academy, a workshop for faculty and administrators creating diversity in the curriculum. As Title IX coordinator, Cox oversaw the implementation of Department of Justice, Department of Health, and the Office of Women’s Health's federal grants supporting sexual assault prevention and educational programing.
In this inaugural senior leadership position, she will lead TU’s Office for Inclusion and Institutional Equity, the university’s diversity and compliance office, and will serve as a key advisor to the senior leadership team as a member of the President’s Council.
“This position culminates both my professional experiences as well as my passion for working with diverse populations, ADA, and Title IX,” Cox said. "I am excited to return to my native Baltimore and to be a part of President Schatzel’s leadership team. I found Towson University to be a warm and welcoming place, and I look forward to rolling-up my sleeves to collaborate with my colleagues.”
Prior to serving as the chief diversity officer for the University of Mary Washington, Cox worked at Gallaudet University and established its first office for minority students. She served for 10 years as a senior assistant dean of academic services at University of Mary Washington. In that role, she provided academic advising and counseling to undergraduate students, supported academic leadership in designing and implementing student success efforts, and provided leadership of the transitional support programs for selected populations.
Cox earned her doctorate in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2010 with her dissertation, “Interactional Diversity and the Role of a Supportive Racial Climate.” She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education and art from McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) in Westminster, Maryland, and a Master of Science degree in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Arizona in 1983.
“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Cox back to Maryland as she joins TU’s senior leadership team as our inaugural vice president of inclusion and institutional equity,” said TU President Kim Schatzel. “One of my presidential priorities is to advance Towson University's mission as a diverse and inclusive campus. Her leadership will have great impact as we relentlessly pursue that goal.”
Towson University values diversity and fosters a climate that is grounded in respect and inclusion, enriches the educational experience of students, supports positive workplace environments, promotes excellence, and cultivates the intellectual and personal growth of the entire university community.