NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Norwich University named Dr. Julia Bernard as its first-ever vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, effective July 1.

Bernard now serves as interim chair and associate professor in East Tennessee State University’s Department of Counseling and Human Services. She holds a doctorate in child development and family studies, a master’s in marriage and family therapy, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Purdue University. She is also a certified nursing assistant who holds numerous certificates in disciplines including leading in equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education; ecopsychology; clinical trauma; mental health first aid; mediation and several others.

Bernard served as the first chair of the Diversity and Belonging Task Force at Clemmer College; and currently serves on the Council for Standards in Human Service Education (Council for Standards in Human Service EducationCouncil for Higher Education Accreditation accredited); and as an executive board member of the East Tennessee State University/Ballad Health Strong BRAIN Institute, a first-of-its-kind institute to promote the awareness and empirical study of adverse childhood experiences.

“Dr. Julia Bernard emerged as the perfect leader at the perfect time for Norwich.” Norwich University President Dr. Mark Anarumo

Bernard’s long history of higher-education teaching began in 2003 as an instructor in Purdue University’s Behavioral Sciences Department. She became an assistant professor of family and child studies at McNeese State University in 2010. She has conducted research, published and has a long clinical résumé, which includes her own private practice, Bernard Family Solutions.

As vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Bernard will develop, implement and monitor programs that promote diversity within the university in compliance with university policies and federal and state regulations, including but not limited to Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act; Title IX; the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAA); the Rehabilitation Act; the Clery Act; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA); the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA); and other state and federal civil rights regulations and guidelines. She will also serve as the university's Title II/Section 504 Coordinator.

“I look forward to learning about all the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that I know are happening in different areas at Norwich,” Bernard said. “We can build on what has been started and put forth diversity principles that build on Norwich's rich traditions. Equity and inclusion are about ensuring that people from different backgrounds have access to an excellent Norwich education. My hope is to expand diversity of students, staff, and faculty, but also of curriculum, pedagogy, research and the production of knowledge.

“Norwich has led the way in diversity for senior military colleges on a number of issues, and my position will help the university remain the leader,” she added.

Quoting the university’s motto, Bernard concluded, “I will try.”

As a member of the president's cabinet, Bernard will advise university leadership on matters of diversity and inclusion to include strategic planning, training, policies and procedures and best practices. This includes coordinating the development of policies and practices to attract, retain and promote a workforce and student body representative of the communities our graduates will serve.

Leading Campus Climate Team

She will lead the Campus Climate Team to create and maintain effective institutional culture and facilitate collaboration among diverse internal and external stakeholders at all levels and functions, including encouraging, empowering and mentoring students to integrate diversity and inclusion efforts into clubs, campus events, university traditions, athletics and other facets of campus life.

Bernard’s work will cut across all university departments and engagement areas including research and internationalization.

“As we launch into our third century of service to our nation and the world, Norwich University will increase the presence of international students on campus; support increasing numbers of students in study abroad and study away programs; and open up new recruiting and admissions pipelines to a wider diversity of students. We must ensure our campus culture is ready for these initiatives,” said Dr. Mark Anarumo, Norwich’s 24th president. “Several areas of our campus community have been addressing DEI and campus climate, but the lack of a cabinet-level position dedicated to informing and connecting these critical elements of campus life has limited our effect. The search committee sent several wonderfully qualified finalists for selection, and from that process, Dr. Julia Bernard emerged as the perfect leader at the perfect time for Norwich. We are very excited to welcome Dr. Bernard and her family this summer.”

About Norwich University
Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by U.S. Army Capt. Alden Partridge and is the oldest private military college in the United States. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

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