VCU names new VP for inclusive excellence

Scholar and academic administrator Aashir Nasim has been named Vice President for Inclusive Excellence, effective April 2.

Nasim currently serves as interim senior vice provost for faculty affairs and director of the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry & Innovation (iCubed) at VCU.

As vice president, Nasim will lead the Division for Inclusive Excellence and implement the newly adopted Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan designed to fulfill VCU’s mission of becoming a model university for inclusivity and be a visionary and collaborative leader for the university.

“Aashir is a respected scholar who is admired around the nation and who brings an important lens of diversity and inclusion to his work and to our university community,” said VCU President Michael Rao in a press release. “I have valued his leadership over the past decade and look forward to working closely with him.”

In January, the VCU community was invited to attend two Campus Forums to meet the two finalists: Nasim and Brian Corpening. Corpening currently serves as Assistant Provost for Diversity & Community Partnerships.

At the Forums, the candidates spoke about their vision for inclusivity in higher education.

The Division for Inclusive Excellence, established in 2012, focuses on nurturing a dynamic environment for people from all walks of life.

In addition, the division is responsible for materializing diversity initiatives outlined in VCU’s Five-Year Diversity Plan and the VCU Quest for Distinction that encourage a welcoming community that supports all people regardless of race, color, national origin, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veterans’ status and disability.

As senior vice provost, Nasim has served as chief administrator for the Office of Faculty Affairs as well as lead faculty development and success initiatives on the university’s academic, medical and international campuses. In his position with iCubed, he has been responsible for new transdisciplinary academic and research programs, which included over 50 faculty and postdoctoral researchers from across the university. Nasim will continue his role of iCubed director.

“We are positioned to be a model in higher education for translating this institutional commitment into national prominence in how we educate our students,” Nasim said. “As our next vice president for inclusive excellence, I look forward to engaging our university community to make this happen, sooner rather than later.”

Nasim earned his Ph.D. in psychology from Howard University and began his academic career in 2001 as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at James Madison University. He arrived at VCU in 2008 as an associate professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology and the Department of African American Studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences. He was then promoted to professor in 2017. His administrative appointments have included tenures as chair of the Department of African American Studies and as a special assistant to the provost.

Nasim is a National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities Scholar and a VCU Massey Cancer Center Research Program member. His research focuses topics such as tobacco and other drug behaviors, sexual risk behaviors and culture, identity and behavior.


Sophia Belletti, Executive Editor

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