Luther College President Paula J. Carlson has announced the appointment of Lisa M. Scott as vice president for equity, inclusion and student success. Scott has served as the inaugural dean for institutional equity and inclusion at Luther since August 2017.
"I am thrilled that Lisa Scott is assuming this new leadership role at Luther," said President Carlson. "Over the past two years, she has served as a strong, invaluable senior leader at the college. In this new role, Lisa will continue to serve as a key leader in the community's work together to achieve the vision for inclusive excellence and student success the college embraced in our new strategic plan, 'Inspired. Empowered. Engaged.'"
Scott will serve as the first vice president for equity, inclusion and student success at the college, a re-visioning of the former dean for institutional equity and inclusion position. She will continue to be a member of the senior administrative leadership team and a key leader and voice on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. In this new role, Scott will also work with colleagues across campus to foster student success in every aspect of college life.
"Lisa Scott has been an integral part of the leadership team during her tenure at Luther in the development of our strategic plan and our vision of a comprehensive student experience that develops students who are inspired, empowered, and engaged to thrive, serve, and lead in an ever-changing world," said Wendy Davidson, chair of the Luther College board of regents and 1992 Luther alumna. "We are thrilled to have her continue her work as the vice president for equity, inclusion, and student success."
While serving as dean, Scott worked with Luther's Council for Equity and Inclusion to reevaluate its structure and priorities in order for the council to strengthen as a campus and regional resource for training and expertise toward inclusive excellence, as outlined in Luther's strategic plan.
Under Scott, the Luther College Diversity Center changed its name to reflect an increased focus on intercultural engagement among students. Now named the Center for Intercultural Engagement and Student Success, the center continues to provide programming and trainings around building meaningful relationships through the sharing of cultural ways of knowing.
Scott helped to facilitate Luther's re-engagement with College Possible, and launched the Catalyze Program in fall of 2018, connecting low-income students with "near-peer" coaches to provide support to students who are often the first in their family to attend college.
Scott has been a core member of groups within the Luther community that organized a series of events throughout the 2018-19 academic year, including commemorating the 50th anniversary of Luther's Black Student Union. Additionally, Scott led the proposal for Luther's participation in the Council of Independent Colleges' second Diversity, Civility and the Liberal Arts Institute, to be held in June 2019.
"After spending the last eighteen months with Luther staff, faculty, students and members of the Decorah community making strides toward inclusive excellence, I am energized, eager and excited to build on the foundations we have set in place," said Scott. "Student equity and success are paramount to the mission and vision of this college. I look forward to the essential work we will do together to create an enduring culture of inclusivity at Luther."
Prior to coming to Luther, Scott served for four years as vice president of student engagement and success at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Prior to her appointment as vice president, Scott served as special assistant to the president-chief diversity officer, assistant provost for student engagement and success, and special assistant to the president-diversity and inclusion chief diversity officer at Susquehanna.
From 1999-2001, Scott served as the director of multicultural affairs at Roger Williams University in Bristol Rhode Island, and as the program director of Everywoman's Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst from 1993-99. She also worked as the director of recruitment and retention for Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield Massachusetts from 1991-93.
Scott holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Cambridge College. She is in the final stages of completing doctoral studies at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology where her research focused on the diversity of senior administrators at predominantly white institutions.
Moving forward, Scott will work closely with Luther leadership developing institutional strategies to ensure that Luther is a diverse and welcoming community, prioritizing student success in curricular and co-curricular programs across the college. She will lead programs and initiatives to increase diversity within the faculty, staff and the student body, and to assure that students thrive in their experience at Luther.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.