April 9, 2018
Dear Members of the Pratt Community,
I am very pleased to announce Nsombi B. Ricketts as the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Pratt Institute. Ricketts will report directly to me, effective July 5, 2018, and will be the senior administrator responsible for implementing a comprehensive diversity strategic plan to enhance and continue to build on the Institute’s efforts in this area across campus.
Ricketts, an accomplished diversity leader with significant higher education experience advancing inclusion efforts on college campuses and beyond, will lead Pratt’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She will have a critical role implementing the Institute’s new Diversity Strategic Plan, which was developed with student, faculty, and staff input and finalized in December 2017. Providing direction for a wide range of programs, Ricketts will build on existing initiatives and foster a diverse and inclusive environment. Key priorities for the Diversity Strategic Plan include creating a welcoming campus community; recruiting and retaining a diverse student body; hiring and retaining a diverse faculty and staff; and expanding “beyond the gates” to the external community.
Ricketts’ appointment as Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion follows a search conducted by a committee that included administrators, faculty, and staff from the Pratt community along with undergraduate and graduate students.
Before joining Pratt, Ricketts served as the Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Northwestern University, and was previously the inaugural Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at The Graduate School at Northwestern. As Assistant Provost, she collaborated with institutional leadership, internal partners, and external stakeholders to promote a culture of equity and inclusion for all Northwestern students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners. In her role as Assistant Dean, she implemented a new diversity recruitment strategy, which led to the most diverse PhD class in Northwestern’s history.
Prior to Northwestern, Ricketts was the Senior Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. Ricketts transitioned to academia after a corporate career with roles in diversity and marketing at American Express. Ricketts earned her BS in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University and her MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University as a Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellow. She was also honored with a Global Multicultural Leader Award and The Consortium 10 Year Anniversary Alumni Award from Goizueta Business School.
Building on previous efforts at Pratt, a Diversity Committee was established in 2010 to assess and improve all areas related to diversity on campus. I would like to thank those extraordinary Pratt individuals and groups who have spent decades in developing programs, supporting our community, and implementing significant initiatives. Key examples are the Diversity Advocate program, in which more than 50 staff, faculty, and students have been trained to serve as advocates within their departments and organizations regarding issues of diversity and inclusion; and a Center for Equity and Inclusion, which is staffed with an Assistant Director of Student Affairs for Equity and Inclusion, and serves as a space for students interested in coming together to address diversity-related issues both on and off campus.
As we look forward to implementing the Diversity Strategic Plan, Ricketts will work closely with partners across campus to foster an environment that welcomes and respects diverse perspectives, values, ideas, backgrounds, and beliefs. For more information, please visit the Diversity and Inclusion section on pratt.edu.
I hope you will join me in congratulating Nsombi B. Ricketts in her new role at Pratt Institute.