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VP Jade Aguilar leaving Willamette on September 17; chaplain Karen Wood is interim replacement

Jake Procino

News editor


On September 2, Provost Carol Long announced over email that Jade Aguilar, Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), is leaving Willamette effective September 17.


According to Long, Aguilar accepted a position with ECONorthwest in Portland. ECONorthwest is a consulting firm that provides analysis that strengthens policy and investment decisions for a wide variety of businesses, with an emphasis in economics, finance and planning, according to the company’s website.


Aguilar has worked as an assistant and associate professor of sociology for Willamette since 2008, before being hired to also work as Willamette’s first VP for EDI in 2017. As an associate professor, she earned Faculty Achievement Awards 2016-2017 (Teaching and Service). As VP for EDI, she most recently led Willamette through its first university-wide climate study in 2019 and started the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge this fall.


Long said that Karen Wood, Willamette University’s chaplain will “lead our EDI work for the academic year” in addition to her chaplain duties. Long continued, saying that the Office for EDI will report to Lisa Landreman, Vice President for Student Affairs, in the meantime.


The future of the Office for EDI is in question, however. Long said that the results of an external review of the Office for EDI, completed over the summer, along with the recommendations of Wood and other stakeholders will determine the future of the Office for EDI.


Regarding new hires, Long said Willamette will soon announce interim plans for Title IX Coordinator, initiate a search for a permanent Title IX Coordinator and hire a part-time assistant chaplain to assist Wood with her chaplain duties.


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