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Vice Provost Melissa Gilliam was appointed in 2016 under the leadership of Provost Diermeier and President Zimmer. Her work focuses broadly on the lifecycle of a faculty member, supporting faculty at all stages of their careers to help faculty maintain and build academic excellence. This includes special tracks that focus on issues of particular concern to new faculty, faculty of color, and academic leadership. In addition to a campus-wide faculty development program, Melissa's portfolio also includes the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellows Program and the Neubauer Family Assistant Professors Program.

Melissa and her team work across the institution on issues of diversity and inclusion defined broadly as including (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability status, nationality, veteran status and politics. In this capacity, she supports the Center for Identity + Inclusion, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. Melissa also works closely with the College, UChicagoGRAD, and the Office of Spiritual Life to foster a climate that supports full participation of the University’s members in the academic and professional life of the campus.

In Autumn 2017, the University of Chicago launched a campus-wide initiative on diversity and inclusion.