Dear Members of the Brown Community,

I am excited to announce the appointment of Sylvia R. Carey-Butler as Brown’s new vice president for institutional equity and diversity.

Sylvia currently serves as the chief diversity officer for Kennesaw State University in Georgia and is an accomplished leader in higher education with deep experience leading diversity and inclusion initiatives. She designed the diversity and inclusion curriculum for the American Council on Education’s fellows program and was named to the Top 100 Diversity Officers by the National Diversity Council in 2021. Sylvia will begin her new role at Brown in August.

We are thrilled to welcome an accomplished leader who brings with her a deep understanding of the essential role that diversity, equity and inclusion play in higher education. Sylvia has a proven ability as an inclusive collaborator and respected problem-solver who builds strong relationships across campus. These skills make her an exceptional choice to serve as Brown’s vice president for institutional equity and diversity.

Sylvia will be responsible for leading the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, as well as managing non-discrimination and other forms of compliance related to protected classes, including Title IX compliance. In this role, she will also provide strategic direction for a wide range of programs and initiatives, coordinate education and training, and measure and report on progress toward the goals of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, Brown’s plan to address barriers to inclusion and create a more equitable academic community.

Since 2019, as the chief diversity officer at Kennesaw State University, Sylvia has worked to develop a long-term diversity and inclusion action plan for the university. This work included establishing clear, meaningful and measurable goals and metrics, and developing strategies and programs focused on the successful recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff. She has also been responsible for leading Kennesaw’s Presidential Task Force on Race, establishing diversity liaisons in each of the university’s academic colleges and implementing a team of student diversity ambassadors.

Prior to her tenure at Kennesaw, Sylvia was assistant chancellor for academic support of inclusive excellence at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh where she worked to build collaborative partnerships across campus and create an inclusive learning environment. Sylvia is also a former interim director of the United Negro College Fund’s Institute for Capacity Building and director of UNCH’s Enrollment Management Program. She previously served as assistant provost and dean of honors at Dillard University in New Orleans and as associate dean of studies at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Sylvia earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration and policy from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in social science from Binghamton University, and a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta.

I want to extend my gratitude to Eric Estes, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services, who co-chaired the search committee with me. I also want to thank the Brown students, faculty and administrators who contributed their insights as members of the committee. In addition, I am grateful to Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey, who has provided excellent interim leadership for the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

I hope you will join me in welcoming Sylvia to Brown when she arrives in August. I look forward to working with her as we continue to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion at Brown.


Christina H. Paxson