University of Florida appoints first chief diversity officer

Courtesy photo from Wesleyan University

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida has appointed Antonio Farias as its first chief diversity officer who will oversee university-wide diversity and inclusion efforts, the university announced today.

The 52-year-old will begin his new position on July 9 with an annual salary of $280,000.

Farias is currently the vice president for equity and inclusion/Title IX officer at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. 

At Wesleyan, he worked with the Academic Affairs, Admissions, Student Affairs and University Relations offices on inclusion and equity issues, according to his official profile and biography. He has worked there since 2013.

His work focused on race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran status, political affiliation and national origin in the areas of recruitment, admission, retention, hires, promotion and fundraising. 

He was also responsible for overseeing university procedures and policies as they pertained to federal and state laws.

Prior to Wesleyan, he was the chief diversity officer for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy from 2005 until 2013. While there, he helped develop a metrics-driven, leadership and values centered inclusion and diversity strategy that shaped strategy for the 47,000-member organization.

He also developed retention programs for faculty and students of color, first-generation students, women, LGBTQ, and students of various faith/non-faith backgrounds; implemented pre-orientation programs for first-generation and students of color; and conducted inclusion and diversity workshops throughout the Coast Guard leadership framework. 

He has also worked at Mercy College, Hunter College and Colgate University, all in New York.

Farias earned his bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and master’s degree in comparative ethnic studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He also has a master’s of fine arts in creative writing from the University of California, Riverside.