Wilson first came to UMKC in 2008 to serve as associate dean for diversity and community partnership at our School of Medicine. She was named vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion in 2014. During her tenure, she implemented a comprehensive, campus-wide plan for diversity and inclusion, built diversity and inclusion training programs, launched the Faculty Diversity Dialogues program and campus Diversity Advocates programs for students and employees. She has also worked with numerous school districts and community organizations to advance diversity and inclusion, and has hosted diversity programming on the UMKC NPR affiliate, KCUR-FM.

“Please join me in congratulating Susan and thanking her for the truly significant impact she has had on UMKC, and the community we serve, during her tenure with us,” said Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal. “Susan has been a trusted and valuable advisor to me since my arrival at UMKC in 2018. UMKC today is recognized as a place that is welcoming to all. Susan’s innovative leadership is part of what made that happen.”

In 2019, she brought a special honor to UMKC, and earned one on her own behalf. UMKC received the 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest publication focused on diversity and inclusion in higher education. Also that year, Wilson was included in a statue honoring Kansas City Black leaders along with Lucille Bluford, Julia Hill, Mamie Hughes, Leon Jordan, Ollie Gates, Bruce Watkins and others.

Wilson will contribute in a consulting role through the spring and summer of 2021 as needed. The Division of Diversity and Inclusion will report to Kimiko Black Gilmore in the short term as interim chief diversity officer, while retaining her normal duties as chief of staff. UMKC will conduct a national search for Wilson’s successor in 2021.