Dear Brown Community Members,

I write to share that, after steering Brown’s equity and diversity efforts tremendously over the past four years, Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity Shontay Delalue will leave the University to become senior vice president and senior diversity officer at Dartmouth College, effective July 1.

While I am delighted that Shontay will pursue this incredible opportunity at Dartmouth, all of us at Brown will miss her deeply. It is obvious to anyone who works with her that Shontay brings to her work a deeply-held set of values and possesses a complex understanding of the need to enhance equity and diversity for historically underrepresented groups in higher education. She leaves a legacy of continued momentum toward a campus that brings together the wide variety of experiences and perspectives critical for a vibrant intellectual community and truly outstanding teaching, learning and research, as well as one where people from all backgrounds are valued and supported.

As vice president, Shontay has led the campus-wide implementation of our Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP). She built a cohesive team in the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity that has provided strategic direction for a wide range of programs and initiatives; coordinated education and training efforts, measured and reported on progress toward DIAP goals; managed compliance; and overseen the investigation of complaints. In shepherding the work of the DIAP, Shontay worked to institutionalize practices to support the hiring and retention of faculty of color, including advancing one of the plan’s primary goals of doubling the number of faculty from historically underrepresented groups.

Among the specific efforts she helped to launch or expand are the Faculty of Color Network, as well as a resource for academic departments titled Guide to Diversifying Faculty Searches. Over the past year, she has led the development of Phase II of the DIAP, which is both assessing progress toward the plan’s original goals and outlining new actions for advancing those goals.

In addition to her role as vice president, Shontay currently serves as the interim senior associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion within the Division of Biology and Medicine. Shontay arrived at Brown in 2013 and held previous positions as assistant provost for global engagement and director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program; director of international student experience and assistant dean of the College; and as an adjunct assistant professor of American studies. She developed and executed a course that took a cohort of students to Ghana for their studies — and seeing an opportunity to make that kind of experience available to staff at Brown, she expanded the Administrative Fellows Program to include a research component and cultural immersion trip abroad that linked their work to the history of the University. In 2017, she received the Wilson-DeBlois Award, awarded by the Graduate Student Council to recognize a staff member for their outstanding contributions to graduate education and support of graduate students.

Prior to joining Brown eight years ago, Shontay served as director of the Intercultural Center at Bryant University, where she was also an adjunct instructor in the sociology and psychology departments. Previously, she held positions at the University of Maine, the University of Alaska Southeast and the Met High School in Providence. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s of education from the University of Maine and a Ph.D. in education through a joint program at the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College.

In her new role at Dartmouth, Shontay will report directly to President Philip J. Hanlon. She will hold a position on the college’s leadership team and oversee the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, serving as an influential leader responsible for empowering others to collectively deepen Dartmouth’s ongoing efforts to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community. She will be tasked with developing strong partnerships with the Board of Trustees, alumni, faculty governance structures, human resources, employee resource networks, student leaders, athletics, and Upper Valley business and community leaders.

In the coming weeks, I plan to engage an executive search firm to lead a national search for Shontay’s successor, engaging the Brown community in the process.

Shontay has been an exceptional leader and integral part of Brown’s progress in ensuring that we uphold our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. I am deeply grateful for everything she has done for Brown and wish her the best at Dartmouth.


Christina H. Paxson