By Jacob DeNobel
Special to the AFRO
Shanon Shumpert, who established and leads the office of institutional equity at one of the nation’s leading academic health systems in Chicago, has been appointed the next vice provost for institutional equity at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
Shumpert was chosen following a nationwide search launched last year and conducted by a committee co-chaired by Paul Pineau, the university’s General Counsel, and Michele Decker, associate professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-chair of the Provost’s Sexual Violence Advisory Committee. She will join the Office of Institutional Equity on July 1, assuming a role responsible for overseeing the university’s affirmative action and equal opportunity compliance efforts. It will include investigating discrimination, harassment complaints and providing a central resource for people with disabilities.
Shumpert comes to Johns Hopkins from Rush University System for Health in Chicago, where she has served in a leadership role since 2013. Shumpert proposed and developed Rush’s Office of Institutional Equity while serving as the organization’s director of employee and labor relations. She was then named vice president of the newly created OIE, and she also served as Title IX coordinator and equal opportunity officer. This made her responsible for resolving complaints of harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct, as well as ensuring equity in the accommodations and disciplinary processes.
Shumpert succeeds Kimberly Hewitt, whose departure was announced in June 2019, and Joy Gaslevic, who has served as interim vice provost since August 2019.
“We found Shanon’s extensive experience, her vision for this critical role and her legal and management expertise extremely compelling,” said Sunil Kumar, Johns Hopkins University’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “I am confident that Shanon will be an excellent leader for the university and will strengthen our efforts to create a welcoming and safe environment for all members of the Johns Hopkins community.”
Decker echoed these sentiments, “There has never been a more important time for strong leadership to advance equity, particularly with the recent Title IX changes from the Department of Education. With this appointment and the strength of the Office of Institutional Equity, JHU is well-prepared for responding effectively to equity issues, and preventing them through promoting a culture that embraces diversity.”
Shumpert said she is excited to join an established office at Hopkins, eager to increase the office’s visibility and reinforce its role as a strategic partner; especially to students, but also to faculty and staff.
“The Office of Institutional Equity plays an integral role in keeping our campus safe and welcoming for all,” Shumpert said. “It’s my job to hold accountable the members of our community who harass, discriminate or fail to adhere to pay equity or other policies that result in individuals being treated differently than their counterparts. It’s our role to highlight these issues so that they can be addressed appropriately.”
Shumpert’s university experience includes roles as a manager of employee and labor relations at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She also previously served as associate general counsel, director of employee relations, and staff attorney at DePaul University.
Shumpert added: “I’m very excited to join this prestigious institution, with such a rich history and culture. And, I’m hoping to positively contribute by promoting a work and learning environment free of harassment and discrimination where we can all thrive on equal footing.”
She holds an LLM, Health Law from DePaul University, a JD from Howard University and a BA from DePaul University.