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Larry Gladney, former Penn professor, will now be the Dean of Diversity at Yale. (File Photo)

Former Penn professor Larry Gladney recently assumed the position of Dean of Diversity at Yale University.

Gladney, former Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor for Faculty Excellence and Associate Dean for Natural Sciences at Penn, took over as Dean of Diversity for the Yale Faculty of Arts & Sciences on Jan. 1, the Yale Daily News reported.

In his new role, Gladney plans to promote the Faculty Excellence and Diversity Initiative, an effort to hire more faculty members of underrepresented minorities at Yale. He will also advocate for “an inclusive and equitable environment in FAS for graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and non-ladder faculty.”

Gladney started working at Penn as an assistant professor of physics in 1988 before becoming a full-time professor in 2005. He was also the chairperson of the African-American Resource Center’s faculty advisory board. 

At Penn, Gladney learned how to have “difficult discussions” and worked on “eliminating gender-preferential language when considering applicants for positions,” the Yale Daily News reported. He recently departed Penn in 2018.  

The Dean of Diversity position at Yale was established in 2015 following student demonstrations protesting the “inhospitable” environment at Yale for black students, the Washington Post reported. Students expressed anger over an administrator’s email that said students should not be offended by culturally insensitive Halloween costumes and over allegations that a fraternity turned away black women from a party. Yale Religious Studies professor Kathryn Lofton previously held the position.

Gladney decided to go to Yale because of “the ambition to be a national leader and the commitment by the community, not just the administration, to take on the task of changing the face of the faculty,” Gladney told the Yale Daily News.