Bloomington, Indiana— Howard Simms will join The University Graduate School at IU Bloomington this November as assistant dean for diversity and inclusion. He comes to IUB from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he has held the position of director of the University Transfer Center since 2017.
“Howard Simms brings a great deal of expertise to this very important role at IU Bloomington,” says David Daleke, associate dean of The University Graduate School and vice provost for graduate education and health sciences. “His prior advocacy and support work with underrepresented students and in student advising will greatly help us empower today’s students and support them throughout their education journey at IU.”
As assistant dean for diversity and inclusion at The University Graduate School, Simms will develop and implement student recruitment and retention programs and initiatives for underrepresented graduates. This charge includes enhancing and reinforcing academic engagement and experiential learning; increasing student engagement, wellness, and involvement; fostering learning, inclusion, and development; supporting students in crisis and adversity; and improving the student campus experience.
In addition, Simms will work directly with prospective and current graduate students by attending student programming and graduate recruitment events, advising organization leaders, meeting one-on-one to discuss areas of concern on campus, and gathering satisfaction feedback from student participants to implement into future student services initiatives and objectives.
Simms has served in a variety of student-support roles during his education career. He began his work at UNC-Charlotte in 2007, holding several positions in academic advising and student success. Prior to that, he worked in Florida before transitioning to Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte to provide outreach and support to first-generation students as part of the TRIO Programs.
He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ball State University, followed by a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Simms also is an avid lecturer and a member of several higher education professional organizations.
“The equity mission of Indiana University is something that truly resonates with me,” notes Simms on his new appointment. “Advocating for students who are underrepresented is an imperative for every institution today. I look forward to using my own equity-related and student-success experience and program knowledge to move forward IU’s diversity and inclusion commitments.”