Heather Burton appointed CWRU’s senior director for faculty and institutional diversity

Photo of Heather Burton

Heather Burton, former director of National Science Foundation Advance Institutions Developing Excellence in Academic Leadership-National (IDEAL-N) and Partners Institutions Faculty and Student Development, has been appointed as Case Western Reserve University’s incoming senior director for faculty and institutional diversity.

As former director of IDEAL-N, Burton worked to promote gender equity in academic science and engineering fields at Case Western Reserve University and nine other universities across Ohio and Pennsylvania. Additionally, she managed the CWRU-Fisk Partnership program, helping coordinate students from CWRU and Fisk University participation in semester exchanges with a goal to increase the number of underrepresented students in graduate programs. Burton is also an adjunct faculty in African and African American Studies and social work.

In her role as senior director, Burton will work with the vice president of the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equality Opportunity to set and advance strategic priorities and best practices related to diversity and equity. In addition, she will address diversity issues related to recruitment, promotion and retention of underrepresented faculty, staff and students as well as issues related to the university’s Affirmative Action Plan, Equal Employment Opportunity and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs requirements. Through involvement in the faculty hiring process, she will ensure diverse candidate pools for faculty searches, assist the Office of the Provost in monitoring salary equity, tenure and promotion processes and will advise staff hiring committees.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2020 YMCA Women of Achievement, the CWRU Staff Diversity Award and the Mather Spotlight & Women of Achievement Award. Burton co-chaired the Ellipsis Institute for Women of Color in the Academy, a conference held on campus in 2018 and 2019.  She is founder and CEO of Crimson Heights, Ministries Inc., a 501c(3) geared toward the holistic development of women and is the author of Crimson Heights and I’m Single, So What?

Burton holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and Black studies from The Ohio State University, master’s degree in social work from the University of Akron, master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University and a PhD in urban studies and public affairs from Cleveland State University.

She assumes her new position Aug. 10 and will be housed in the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity.