Utah private school hires Indian-American as Director of Equity and Inclusion

Chandani Patel with husband Brady and daughter Aashna. Patel takes over as director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at Rowland Hall July 1, 2021. Photo rowlandhall.org

Following a four-month national search, Rowland Hall, an independent private school in Salt Lake City, Utah, announced it has hired Chandani Patel, PhD, of New York University, as its first director of equity and inclusion.

Patel will move with her husband Brady and daughter Aashna, to Utah this summer to take over the permanent position July 1, 2021. Patel’s parents, Vaishali and Sanjay, will also be relocating to the area, Rowland Hall noted in its March 15, 2021 press release.

Patel has spent the last 10 years advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives across a number of institutions, Rowland Hall noted.

For the past 18 months, she has served as the director for global diversity education for New York University (NYU), where she works with faculty on curriculum and instruction that is centered in DEI.

Before that, she was senior assistant director at Columbia University’s Center for Teaching and Learning, where she developed pedagogical workshops and online resources to support instructors in creating inclusive classroom spaces.

“I believe deeply in relationship building across a community,” Patel is quoted saying in the press release. “I look forward to being part of a community where all voices are represented so that we can work towards building an inclusive teaching and learning environment for all students, faculty, staff, and families.”

Rowland Hall said its extensive search narrowed down to Patel, who “rose to the top for our community due to her expertise, professionalism, sincere approachability, and willingness to dig deep in this important role.”

Patel has a PhD from the University of Chicago, where she studied comparative literature with a focus on South Asian and African literatures. She also holds a BA in comparative literature and an MA in humanities and social thought, both from NYU.




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