I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Tanyka M. Barber as UMBC's inaugural Vice President for Institutional Equity and Chief Diversity Officer. This role is of critical importance and value to UMBC's long-held vision for inclusive excellence, and we all will benefit from the exceptional depth and breadth of expertise, along with the strength of commitment that Tanyka will bring to the work.
Tanyka joins UMBC from a role as a partner with TNG, a national strategic risk management consulting firm. She held roles of increasing responsibility over four years with TNG, which works to advance holistic, proactive prevention and risk management in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and other organizations and is one of the largest education-focused law and consulting practices in the country. In her work with TNG, Tanyka consulted with a wide variety of educational institutions across the country, gaining diverse perspectives and developing expertise in evolving best practices.
She shared this with me in expressing her enthusiasm about joining UMBC: "At every point in the process - from the position posting through the campus visit - it was really clear to me that everyone was committed to this work and wants to build upon what you already have in place. That was really exciting to see and was what drew me to UMBC. I look forward to partnering with students, faculty, staff, and the broader UMBC community as we continue to build upon that solid foundation."
Prior to joining TNG, Tanyka, who is a Maryland native, spent her career in Baltimore, most recently as director of diversity and EEO/Title IX coordinator at Morgan State University. There, she effectively led the university to achieve Title IX compliance through the championing of equal employment, Title IX, and diversity initiatives serving the university's students, faculty, and staff. She drafted Morgan State's first comprehensive policy and procedures for gender- and sex-based harassment and violence, developed and implemented a comprehensive Title IX grievance process and prevention policy, and prioritized education and advocacy initiatives aimed at preventing and increasing reporting of discrimination and harassment.
She served previously as the equal employment opportunity officer for Baltimore County Public Schools, assistant general counsel for the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, and as a law clerk for the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau. Before she earned a law degree and served in leadership roles in civil rights and law, she held a number of roles in the public health field, including as a program manager for Morgan State's Public Health Program and as national health coordinator for the NAACP.
It is to UMBC's great advantage that in this inaugural vice presidential role, we will have a leader whose career has been as a practitioner in both the legal compliance space and the diversity, equity, and inclusion space. We also will have someone whose personal perspective, including as a first-generation college student and a nontraditional law school student, deeply informs her understanding of this work and the communities she serves.
I share in the assessment of the search committee and all who met her during the interview process: Tanyka's diverse expertise and experience, as well as her demonstrated commitment to this work and her deeply collaborative leadership style made her a singularly outstanding candidate for this role at UMBC.
She earned her bachelor's degree from Morgan State, majoring in health education; a master of health sciences degree from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a law degree from the University of Baltimore.
I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the members of the search committee and to Candace Dodson-Reed for her leadership of the committee, as well as to our search partner, Isaacson, Miller, and to all those in the UMBC community who provided input that informed the search and/or feedback throughout the process. This is a great day for UMBC, indeed.
April 17 will be another great day: Tanyka's first day in the role! I know you will join me in welcoming her warmly to UMBC.
President Valerie Sheares Ashby