New Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Focused on Creating an Anti-Racist Community

Tayo Clyburn

“Colby is poised to have an impact on higher education, and I’m excited to be a part of the team that’s moving the institution to be a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

With 15 years of experience in DEI work within higher education, Tayo Clyburn, Colby’s new dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion, has the right ingredients to build strong relationships with faculty, staff, and students to advance their collective work. His entire role is dedicated to thinking with the different stakeholders on campus about what it will take to create and sustain an anti-racist community.

“Colby is in the space of thinking about what are the innovative practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion. [Colby] has taken up those practices across all sectors of the institution—in athletics, advancement, admissions, in the faculty space, and in the student-services space—is key to making and sustaining progress. That’s the model that I believe in, that’s the way I approach doing the work,” Clyburn says.

Using the comprehensive recommendations from Colby’s 2016 DEI Task Force as a blueprint, Clyburn will collaborate with campus partners to build on the work currently underway. He believes the full integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion into every aspect of Colby—its climate and culture, the student experience, curriculum and pedagogy, and the composition and retention of a diverse student body, faculty, and staff—is key to its success and longevity. Additionally, the creation of a standing body to provide oversight on implementation, accountability, and assessment is critical.

Dean of the College Karlene Burrell-McRae ’94 said, “Tayo is really gifted at thinking about each person’s role and responsibility in creating an equitable and anti-racist community. I think Tayo comes with a spirit of openness, of optimism, and has the ability to ask critical questions to be able to move us to where we aspire to be.”

One of his first tasks will be to get to know the community and understand more about each of the areas already doing important and necessary work. By building a group with representation from all areas of the College in order to create a strong and sustainable infrastructure, he will help to position Colby to be a leader in this arena. His DEI work has already received national attention among higher education institutions and organizations; to read more about his work as featured on, click here.