Dr. Robert Clay named Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at Luther College

May 19, 2022

Robert Clay portrait

President Jenifer K. Ward has announced the appointment of Dr. Robert E. Clay as chief equity and inclusion officer and assistant to the president for community engagement at Luther College. Beginning in August, Clay will oversee the Center for Intercultural Engagement and Support and will serve as a strategic partner and advisor to students, faculty and staff on matters related to diversity, equity, inclusion and community engagement.

“Luther College’s work toward a more inclusive and equitable community began well before I arrived, and Dr. Clay will help us build upon the momentum of ongoing initiatives to craft and refine a comprehensive strategy for diversity, equity and inclusive excellence,” said Ward. “As someone who was educated at a residential liberal arts college-Olivet College in Michigan, Dr. Clay values and takes into account our history, and will also challenge us to move beyond immediate interests and present knowledge into a larger world, as our mission calls us to do. This project is at the heart of Clay’s work and he will find willing and eager partners here at Luther.”

“It is an honor to be named the CEIO at Luther College,” said Clay. “I’m most excited about building upon the rich heritage of Luther College by developing innovative practices, policies, procedures and programs utilizing best practices through an equity-mindedness lens that will help further the college’s mission. I look forward to working collaboratively with faculty, staff and students, as well as alumni and community members, to create an inclusive community on campus and throughout Decorah.”

Clay comes to Luther from Governors State University in University Park, Illinois, where he has been employed since 2014. Most recently, he served as the executive director of the Center for Student Engagement and Intercultural Programs. In that role, he implemented integrated learning experiences and civic engagement initiatives supporting diverse cultures, including the Male Success Initiative, the annual MLK Day of Service, and a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. While at GSU, Clay also oversaw intercultural education and served on the Campus Inclusion Team and the Retention 2 Graduation Team.

Prior to his work at GSU, Clay was the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he developed the Multicultural Enrollment Management Group to assess and create strategies to enhance recruitment and retention of multicultural students.

Clay also worked on equity and inclusion initiatives at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, and continues to serve as a nationally sought after consultant and speaker on student success, equity, inclusion, and community engagement.

About Luther College

Luther College is home to about 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our academic programs, experiential approach to learning, and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully, and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.