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Cartwright appoints Davis as interim vice chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity at MU

Davis, with MU since 2002, has been leading initiatives that focus on access and leadership

July 9th, 2019

Story Contact: Liz McCune, 573-882-6212,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright announced today that NaTashua R. Davis, executive director of the Access & Leadership Development Unit at MU, has been named as interim vice chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. Davis replaces Kevin McDonald, who announced earlier this year that he was leaving for a similar position at the University of Virginia. The appointment is effective July 26.

“I am thrilled that NaTashua is ready and eager to serve in such a critical role for MU,” Cartwright said. “She brings incredible institutional knowledge and an unmatched appreciation and understanding for our students, faculty and staff that makes her the right person to lead this important division.”

In her current role, Davis is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of programs, initiatives and training designed to engage and impact students from underserved and underrepresented populations throughout the various stages of student life, from kindergarten through college. She oversees several initiatives, including Men of Color Honor & Ambition (MOCHA) and Women of Color Honor & Ambition (WOCHA), the Emerging Leaders Academy, BackTalk (a program focused on learning through the arts), and the Graduate Scholars of Excellence program.

“I am both honored and excited to contribute to advancing the strategic goals of IDE and the university in this capacity,” Davis said. “I’m very humbled by the opportunity to engage in such a unique and expansive space in which the work is truly integral to supporting the core values and mission of the institution. Under Dr. Kevin McDonald’s leadership, IDE has made great strides around efforts of diversity, inclusion and equity, leaving us with a solid foundation. I look forward to working with IDE staff, the campus community and beyond to continue to build on the progress.”

Additionally, Davis is the director of the MU McNair Scholars Program, a national project funded by the U.S. Department of Education that is designed to prepare and support students entering graduate school and who are the first in their families to attend college or who are from underrepresented populations.

Davis has earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a master’s degree in college student personnel from Kansas State University. In April 2012, she earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from MU.

“NaTashua has the perfect combination of vision, creativity, content knowledge and a collaborative spirit to continue moving the important work of inclusion, diversity and equity forward,” McDonald said. “She cares deeply about the student, staff and faculty experience and has made it her life’s work to enhance their lives in ways that positively impact success and retention outcomes. She has expanded the reach and impact of a number of IDE initiatives, and I look forward to the transformative impact that IDE will have under NaTashua’s leadership during the months ahead.”

The Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity includes the offices of Access and Leadership Development, Accessibility and ADA, Civil Rights & Title IX, the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, the LGBTQ Resource Center, Inclusive Engagement, Multicultural Center, Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center, and the Women’s Center. The division’s work is guided by the Inclusive Excellence Framework that reaffirms MU’s commitment to growing and sustaining a diverse and welcoming environment for all faculty, staff, students and visitors.

“NaTashua is surrounded by leaders within the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity who are prepared to work alongside her and carry forward the initiatives that began under Vice Chancellor Kevin McDonald,” Cartwright said. “This team has and will continue to do great things for Missouri’s flagship institution.”

Cartwright said the university will hold a national search for the position beginning this fall.UM System President Mun Choi and Cartwright decided to split the dual role of UM System Chief Diversity Officer and MU Vice Chancellor of IDE. An interim chief diversity officer for the UM System will be named in the near future.

EDITOR’S NOTE: NaTashua is pronounced “Nuh – TAH – shah”