The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity welcomed Sheri Schwab as interim vice provost on March 1, 2018. Prior to accepting this role, she served as associate director of NC State’s Cooperative Extension and director of county operations for almost seven years.
Schwab began her professional career in 1997 at NC State in the Office for Equal Opportunity, where she served as assistant vice provost for employment. In 2002, she joined the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as assistant director of personnel, with a primary focus on county-based extension employees, before becoming assistant dean for personnel in 2009. She began serving as director of county operations with the NC Cooperative Extension Service in April 2011.
A common thread that she draws within her work over the past two decades has been “a passion for learning about all cultures and peoples, and for supporting and advocating for all ways that we, as a university, a community, a society, and as individuals, can develop our understanding of one another in creating meaning and purpose in our lives and for our world.”
With a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Kansas (1994), a master’s degree in education from NC State University (1997) and a Juris Doctorate from NC Central University (2009), Schwab is also a licensed attorney. She intentionally chose to attend NC Central University School of Law based on that university’s overall mission and its law school’s focus on the intersections of equity and the law, as well as on the development of attorneys and legal professionals who work successfully in both the letter and the spirit of the law.
As director of county operations, Schwab had primary responsibility for over 800 professional and administrative staff in all 100 North Carolina counties and with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, and for the operations of all personnel functions; organizational development, information technology, local government relations, agricultural, food, family and consumer sciences, and 4-H youth development outreach and engagement programs. She also collaborated with NC A&T State University Extension in the administration of county-delivered programs.
Schwab has completed numerous leadership development and diversity programs and is a certified trainer for the State of North Carolina’s Equal Employment Opportunity Institute. She is a trained mediator and was instrumental in developing and launching NC State’s Mediation Program. On a personal note, Sheri grew up in Kansas on her family’s farm.
Regarding the factors that led to her decision to come to OIED, Schwab stated, “A large part of my confidence in accepting this role is the commitment of NC State’s chancellor and provost and other senior leadership in the work of equal opportunity and diversity and building an NC State culture and community that embraces and showcases these. Further, the professionals working in OIED are top-notch and some of the best at what they do. They are intelligent, hard-working, strategic and passionate, and they are extremely dedicated and focused. And we have a campus community – students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, both in Raleigh and across the state, the nation and around the world – who are committed to seeing NC State excel in all areas, including the areas of inclusion. We have a very strong platform to build from, and that is part of why I am excited about this and where we can go from here.”
Look for more information from Vice Provost Schwab and our vision and priorities for OIED in the coming editions of Diversity Digest.