Announcing Brandeis' Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Jan. 31, 2022

Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,

I am pleased to announce that LeManuel Lee Bitsóí has agreed to join Brandeis as the next vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion. He will begin on March 14.

Lee is a skilled diversity, equity, and inclusion leader and administrator, and he will bring to Brandeis his extensive experience in collaborating with students, faculty, and staff to implement diversity-driven initiatives, policies, and programming. A first-generation Native American (Navajo) graduate of New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico with a master’s from Harvard University and an Ed.D. in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, Lee currently serves as the associate vice president for diversity affairs and special advisor to the president for indigenous affairs at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Prior to his position at Fort Lewis, he held diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership roles at a number of other academic institutions.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the search committee for their tireless work toward identifying the right person for this important role. For nearly six months, the committee conducted its search with the assistance of the many students, faculty, and staff who offered their thoughtful insights and participated in the process. The committee was led by Provost Carol Fierke and Harleen Singh, associate professor of literature and women's, gender and sexuality studies, and included the following members from across the community.

I also want to recognize the transitional leadership of David M. Fryson, who, since last July, has served as our interim chief diversity officer and vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion. From his first days on campus, he has made remarkable contributions to our community. Indeed, his wisdom and experience were instrumental to the successful development of our university’s Anti-Racism Plans. David will continue to work with the university until Lee transitions into the role in mid-March. In the meantime, I invite you to join me in sincere appreciation for his leadership.

Please join me in welcoming Lee to Brandeis, and in introducing him to our strong tradition of striving toward inclusion in all aspects of university life.