Associate Vice President Kathy Littles Will Become Provost of CIIS

Dear Saint Mary’s Community,  

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Kathy Littles, Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as she accepts the position of Provost at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), to begin in January. I write this message with genuine joy for Kathy in this unique opportunity for her to return to CIIS, an educational community that, like Saint Mary’s, has been a special place in her professional career, where she began as an adjunct faculty person and where she most recently served, until 2018, as Academic Dean of the School of Consciousness and Transformation. 

Personally, and on behalf of the entire Saint Mary’s Community, I am also deeply appreciative of all that Dr. Littles has accomplished as Saint Mary’s inaugural Senior Diversity Officer. In her two years as Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and more recently as Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Kathy has led truly transformative work in helping to educate and advance equity at Saint Mary’s, from the creation of recruiting and hiring protocols and training for faculty search committees, to a revision of campus GUIDE training, to the continued development of the College Committee for Inclusive Excellence as a campus-wide nucleus for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Saint Mary’s, and its establishment of new affinity committees to collaborate with the existing Black Lives Matter Committee, including the Asian Pacific Islander Action Subcommittee, the Afro-Latinx/Latinx/Indigenous Peoples Action Subcommittee, Committee for Interfaith and Religious Cooperation, Learning, and Engagement (CIRCLE), Gender Equity and Women’s History Month Committee, and Diverse Genders and Sexual Identities (Que(e)ries) Committee.

Dr. Littles has led the institutional-wide charge of reinstating a campus climate survey, including the selection of external consultants, leading an internal executive team to develop the instrument, and the launch of the recently completed survey-taking period on campus. She has led the inclusion of regular DEI training for senior staff and collaborated across campus with the offices of Mission, Academic Affairs, Human Resources, Athletics, and Student Life to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion more fully into the operations of the campus, always with a foundation of working from a mission-centric approach grounded in our values. Most importantly, with a can-do and faith-filled spirit, Dr. Littles has established strong relationships of support with colleagues at every level, and most especially with our students. Dr. Littles also represented Saint Mary’s as a distinguished fellow in the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. 

Plans are underway to sustain our commitment to DEI and continue to advance this critical work that is at the heart of Saint Mary’s. More information will be coming soon on these efforts. 

For many of us, the news includes a sense of understandable disappointment that Dr. Littles will move on from Saint Mary’s. As Kathy has noted, she will always be a member of the Saint Mary’s community, as a colleague and as an alumna herself who believes in and cares about Saint Mary’s. This is a time for us to celebrate her work and wish her well as she assumes the role of Provost at CIIS, and we will have a formal celebration for Kathy at the end of the term. 

Best regards,

Richard Plumb, PhD