Washington appointed vice chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement

Felicia A. Washington has been appointed the University’s new vice chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement, effective Feb. 1. An experienced attorney in issues involving employment, compliance and discrimination, Washington will replace former Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Brenda Malone.

As approved by the Board of Trustees, the new name for the position reflects its expansion to combine principal responsibility for the offices of Human Resources, Equal Opportunity/ADA and Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Chancellor Carol L. Folt said in a campus email message announcing Washington’s appointment.

“This structural change was designed in consultation with campus leaders to strengthen support for Carolina’s workforce,” Folt said. “By bringing these three critical areas together in a single division, we intend to significantly increase collaboration, create new campus-wide opportunities for engagement and learning and advance Carolina’s mission to provide a welcoming, equitable and stimulating educational environment for all.”

Washington, a former member of the University’s Board of Trustees, brings to this important campuswide position an impressive record of professional expertise, experience with Carolina and strong personal leadership skills, Folt said. She will lead a division responsible for the administration of, and compliance with, federal and state laws and UNC-system policies regarding human resources management, equal opportunity and harassment and discrimination. In addition, Folt said, Washington will focus on enhancing campus-wide diversity.

“Carolina is privileged to have such a talented person join our community,” Folt said.

A UNC undergraduate alumna, Washington earned her law degree from the University of Virginia. She has been an attorney with what is now K&L Gates LLP in Charlotte for 23 years, and a partner for the last 15. There, she worked extensively with senior legal counsel and human resources professionals, advising them on an array of employment, compliance and discrimination issues. Her work included developing personnel policies and employment and separation agreements, developing the strategy for and conducting investigations, and representing clients before regulatory agencies and in federal and state courts. In addition, she has been instrumental in many diversity-related organizations within the legal profession.

Last year, Washington concluded four years of service as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, where she had chaired the Conflicts of Interest and Legal Affairs committees, and served on the Student Affairs, University Affairs and 21st Century Visioning: Access and Affordability committees.

In her new role, Washington will collaborate with senior administrators, faculty and staff to implement strategies for supporting and enriching Carolina’s workforce and enhancing diversity across campus.

As part of this restructuring, an associate vice chancellor will have day-to-day responsibilities in each of the offices in the new division, and will report directly to Washington. Matt Brody will continue as associate vice chancellor of Human Resources, and Taffye Clayton as associate vice chancellor of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. Jayne Grandes, interim director of the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office, will continue in that role until the search for an associate vice chancellor for Equal Opportunity/ADA has concluded.

Published Jan. 14, 2014.