Dr. James McShay has been chosen as the new assistant chancellor for Equity and Inclusion from among two candidates who visited campus in January. The decision was announced by Chancellor Mark Pagano in a campus-wide email Feb. 15 — completing a nearly year-long search to fill the vacant position.
The search committee — formed last March — consisted of students, faculty, staff and administrators. In January, the committee narrowed the applicants down to two remaining candidates. These candidates were each invited to spend two days on campus — where they were able to interface with students, faculty and staff.
McShay visited campus Jan. 11–12 and interacted with students in a public presentation and student forum. The other candidate, TaJuan Wilson , did the same Jan. 18–19. The events were recorded and posted online — along with background information for each candidate — and students were asked to give their opinions directly to the search committee.
The search committee then passed their recommendation on to Chancellor Pagano, who made the final decision.
McShay has had a long career in higher education, championing equity and inclusion at two universities — Iowa State University and the University of Maryland.
In his new position at UWT, McShay will head the Office for Equity and Inclusion, supervise the director and activities of the Center and serve on the chancellor’s leadership team.
McShay said his first priority will be to learn more about UWT’s culture, needs and relationship with the greater Tacoma community.
“Alongside of doing this, I’ll be focused on cultivating relationships with students, faculty, staff and community members,” McShay said. “I want to hear about their experiences on campus and solicit ideas for how to best advance UWT strategic goals that specifically target equity and inclusion outcomes.”
McShay sees the importance of working together as a campus community and fostering engagement among all students, faculty and staff.
“What I’ve learned over my years in the profession is that for equity and inclusion work to be truly sustainable and have deep institutional impact, it cannot be done on an island,” McShay said. “We should strive to have UWT become a model for inclusive excellence among urban serving four-year institutions when it comes to retention, persistence and success for all students.”
He hopes to continue the current work of the Center for Equity and Inclusion and expand its reach.
“My vision for the Center for Equity and Inclusion is very much aligned with its current mission and goals, which are focused on promoting a welcoming and inclusive environment for the UWT community,” McShay said. “The goal is to advance efforts that further establish CEI as an essential resource for students, faculty, staff and the greater Tacoma community and to help it become an exemplar among urban-serving four-year institutions in the region.”
At Iowa State University, McShay was an adjunct assistant professor of education in multicultural and international curriculum studies. He was also the faculty director for university studies, dialogues on diversity.
During his time at the University of Maryland, he co-chaired the Bias Incident Task Force and was chair of the President’s Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues.
McShay currently serves at UMD in many roles including: director of the Office of Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy, associate director of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union — Center for Campus Life, co-chair of the Division of Students Affairs Diversity Initiative, and affiliate assistant professor in the College of Education.