Dear Lawrence Community,

There is much work for us to do together as we look to Lawrence’s future, and one of our most pressing needs this fall was our search for the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Today, we are delighted to announce that Dr. Eric Mayes will soon join the Lawrence community in this critically important role.

Dr. Mayes, who currently serves as executive director of the Center for Educational Equity within the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas, will begin his duties in early November, leading the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He will work collaboratively across campus with faculty, staff, students, Board of Trustees, and alumni to strengthen its community, culture, and climate in its mission to be an equity-minded and antiracist institution. Dr. Mayes will also serve as a member of the faculty.

“This is an opportunity to be a part of important change happening at a critical time in both Lawrence’s history and our country’s history,” said Dr. Mayes, adding, “Lawrence is getting a collaborator, someone who values diversity, equity, and inclusion at an extremely high level, someone who is committed to the truest notion of a liberal arts education.”

From the beginning, Dr. Mayes was the most impressive among a strong field of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professionals. He has a level of passion and commitment to DEI work that will be game-changing for Lawrence. In addition, his story of grit, determination, and resilience will allow him to serve as an excellent role model for our students while collaborating with faculty and staff to create an environment of belonging for all members of the Lawrence community.

Thank you to members of the search committee who worked so hard to help us find the right candidate for this position, as well as other community members, who met with candidates throughout our search process. You can read more about Dr. Mayes and his background in our news blog story announcing his new position at Lawrence.

As we look forward to Dr. Mayes’ arrival, the work addressing DEI issues at Lawrence continues. More information regarding the progress of that work since the spring will be shared with our community later this week.

I am truly excited to welcome Dr. Mayes to Lawrence. His contributions will add to our important work as we continue to shine brighter together.



Laurie A. Carter

President, Lawrence University