Miles to head diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, lay groundwork for next vice president.
Dr. Reginald H. Miles is serving as Interim Vice President of Equity and Inclusion for the 2022-23 academic year. He was appointed by President David R. Anderson ’74 in July, following Maria Pabón Gautier’s departure. “It was amazing. I felt very humbled and honored to be asked and selected to lead these efforts at this institution,” Miles said.
In 2020, Miles served as Associate Dean of Admissions and Director of Multicultural Recruitment. Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, he served on the Ole Taskforce and worked with the Posse organization and collaborated with Pabón and campus partners in the Co-Creating an Inclusive Community initiative. He also leads the Council of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Bias Reporting Team.
This 2022-23 academic year, Miles plans to work closely with campus partners, including the Vice President of Human Resources to increase employee retention and engagement. In his current role, Miles will be leading the Co-Creating an Inclusive Community initiative and launching stage three in its process in early 2023. He will determine where departments are in terms of their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) steps through an evaluation process.
Originally from Massachusetts, Miles lived in Arizona for 13 years to work with a variety of institutions in admissions and academic services. In addition, Miles instructed undergraduate and graduate courses during his time at Arizona State University. After graduating with this doctorate, he temporarily moved to Florida to be with his family.
Miles moved to Minnesota after discovering St. Olaf in his job search during COVID-19. Despite having to meet his interviewers over Zoom, he felt the community through the screen. He’s never regretted coming to St. Olaf since. “It was the best first day I ever had in my professional career,” Miles said. “It [the first day] was very warm and welcoming.”
Miles prioritizes maintaining DEI efforts on campus. He defines himself as an African American male and a member of the LGTBQIA+ family. He has worked to support all kinds of communities through advocacy. “It’s truly rewarding for me when I’m able to serve as an advocate for students, faculty, and staff,” says Miles.
Every day brings something different for Miles due to the moving parts of the institution and his position. He often finds opportunities to connect with individuals he doesn’t know yet. “I try every day to meet with someone I haven’t met yet,” Miles said.
Miles hopes to build the foundation for the next Vice President of Equity and Inclusion, including maintaining the relationships he is built and carrying out the 2023 DEI Symposium. “The blueprints are here,” Miles said. “We have to make sure they’re carried out.”
Andrew Mazariegos ’24 had a positive experience at Miles’ most recent Q&A panel. “He just seemed really warm and inviting,” said Mazariegos. “His passion showed in his words, and I can tell it’s the community that motivates him.”
Miles acknowledges that this job is not his alon, however. “It’s not a one-man show,” Miles said. “Everyone has to roll up their sleeves to do the work. Everyone has to evaluate where we’ve been, where we’re at, and where we’re going.”
In his spare time, Miles loves traveling to the Caribbean, cooking, taking cruises and road trips, enjoying the fall weather, and is a self-proclaimed “beach person.” His favorite color is purple.
Miles believes communication is key and will be sending out monthly newsletters on his ideas and insights through a DEI lens to the campus community. The October newsletter will be sent out by Monday, October 3.
Miles can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. His office is in Tomson Hall 258.
Note: Andrew Mazariegos is an illustrator for The Olaf Messenger.