New vice chancellor for DEI will bring ‘inclusive excellence’ to UCCS

     Rame Hanna will join the UCCS community as the vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion on March 1. 

     “I am looking to be part of a community where I can have the most impact and the intentionality put into the development of this role complements both my commitment to inclusive excellence and blending DEI into the full fabric of the University,” Hanna wrote via email.   

     “This critical role was of great interest to me due to the holistic student-centered approach to DEI at UCCS, especially through campus-wide strategic coalitions and partnerships. 

     Hanna’s professional background is focused on the intersections of social justice education, leadership development and organizational learning. “I am a cultural change agent and social scientist who has dedicated my professional life centering critical diversity scholarship in pursuit of inclusive excellence in higher education,” they said.   

     “In sharing a bit about my social group identities that have shaped my worldview, I am Arab American/Middle Eastern, genderqueer, gay, and the first in my family to go to college,” they said.  

     Hanna has worked at numerous institutions, guiding and leading diversity efforts related to community needs and directly speaking to systemic and structural barriers. Hanna said their lived experience with intersecting identities has allowed them to align identity development and self-awareness with an equity-minded and socially just lens.  

     “I believe that a community-wide focus on inclusive excellence is not only imperative to fostering an inclusive learning and work environment, but also elevating the impact a culture of belonging can have within the UCCS community,” they said. 

     “As I enter this role, I hope to create spaces to center your voices and actively listen and learn from your authentic stories and lived experiences. I also hope to uplift and empower community agency and social responsibility as well as support the current momentum around DEI efforts that seek to foster greater solidary on campus in service of students.” 

     Hanna intends to be a “thought partner, co-collaborator, support, resource, and liaison to the community.” 

     They care about creating a greater culture of inclusivity on campus while also lifting up the current successes around diversity, equity and inclusion at UCCS and building more collaborations with the local community in Colorado Springs.   

UCCS Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Rame Hanna. Photo courtesy of Rame Hanna.

      SGA Senator of Multicultural Affairs Miles Jones served as the student representative on the search committee. As the student representative on this board, Jones listened to and provided feedback on the candidates, as well as reviewed the applications. Jones also sat in on some of the candidates’ first and second-round interviews.  

     Jones wrote via email, “I was pleased to know that Rame Hanna was selected for this position, with their role at other universities in this same position or positions that were similar, it made me feel a lot more comfortable with their selection.” 

     He continued, “We really wanted to find someone who valued community and building community on campus. I also put heavy emphasis on the candidate’s vision of building community at UCCS as well as how the plan on helping the students of color on campus and ensuring they feel heard and safe at this University.” 

     Stephany Rose Spaulding, interim associate vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion, also helped select Rame for the position.  

     She wrote, “Hiring Rame Hanna as the inaugural Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is an exciting opportunity for our campus and broader community. They bring a wealth of experience, depth of knowledge and a passion for innovative practices to this work. Additionally, the elevation of this role to a cabinet level position reflects the deep commitment to investing and growing in areas of DEI for UCCS.”