Louisiana State University in Shreveport is proud to announce Kenna Franklin, EdD, as the new assistant provost for diversity, inclusion, and community engagement.
She will lead and coordinate university-wide initiatives fostering and sustaining a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community partners. The assistant provost reports to the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and will serve as a member of the Chancellor’s senior administrative team. Franklin will assist the provost in ensuring a culture of equity, access, and inclusion by collaborating with the Office of Student Affairs and the academic deans and chairs in offering resources and programming both on and off campus that promote diversity, respect, and openness. The assistant provost will be responsible for strategic planning, diversity education and training for students, faculty, and staff, community outreach and relationship management, policy development, and campus climate issues.
“The Chancellor and I discussed creating a new position for diversity and inclusion back in September 2019, right after I was named as Provost,” said Helen Taylor, PhD, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “While we have had a Director of Multicultural Affairs for a number of years, we felt that it was time for the campus to do more and do better, and to elevate the position to its rightful place and scope.”
Dereck Rovaris, PhD, vice provost for diversity at LSU A&M, was instrumental in the process of developing the title and outlining the job description of the new position. This collaborative approach underscores an ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion across all LSU campuses. The search process, which was originally scheduled to conclude in early March, was delayed due to COVID-19.
Despite the delay, LSUS found their perfect candidate on campus. Kenna Franklin, EdD, the founding director of the LSUS Office of Multicultural Affairs, will now occupy the assistant provost position. Franklin, an associate professor of professional practice, teaches both social work and sociology courses, and has been a member of the university’s faculty for the past 30 years. She possesses bachelor degrees in sociology and criminal justice from Grambling State University, a master’s in social welfare administration from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas. Her research interests align with her new role, as she has done extensive work in the areas of underserved student populations, transfer students, African-American, Latino-American and LGBTQ student issues, educational disparities, retention strategies, student success, and university/business/community partnerships.
“As an educator, this moment finds me enthusiastic for the potential of growth and a genuine understanding of what underscores this work,” said Franklin. “With the country at a crucial intersection of moral, social and racial justice, LSUS is poised through the work of this office to truly make a difference at the forefront of these issues. I look forward to the support of the entire Louisiana State University Shreveport family as we plan programs, institute campus wide policies, and invite the community to become a part of this dynamic movement.”