COTC/Ohio State Newark Appoint First Chief Diversity Officer/DEI Director

Black woman wearing glasses, brown blazer and gray shirt facing head on

Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) and The Ohio State University at Newark announce the appointment of Brianna Davis Johnson, PhD, as the institutions’ first chief diversity officer/diversity, equity and inclusion director. The new position is shared by the two institutions and will report directly to the COTC president and the Ohio State Newark dean and director. Johnson assumed her role on Jan. 3.

As chief diversity officer/diversity, equity and inclusion director, Johnson will be responsible for developing and implementing proactive diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in support of the institutions’ strategic plans to create a learning and working environment where all have an opportunity to succeed.

“I am honored to join COTC and Ohio State Newark at this important time in the institutions’ histories,” said Johnson. “I look forward to partnering with students, faculty and staff to foster diverse, equitable and inclusive cultures at both institutions and in the surrounding communities.”

Most recently, Johnson was the program manager for the Ohio Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, Office of Diversity and Inclusion at The Ohio State University. She has a significant history of work in higher education community engagement, diversity initiatives and residence life, including various roles at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Syracuse University and Northwestern University. She has facilitated/presented at numerous diversity workshops and lectures across the country. Dr. Johnson holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Policy from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies and Urban Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.

After a comprehensive national search, a search committee composed of student body members, staff and faculty recommended Johnson for the appointment.

COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC has four campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.