Michael Benitez Jr., Ph.D.

VP for Diversity and Inclusion at Metropolitan State University, Liberty Class of 1995

Michael Benitez

Dr. Michael Benitez is employed by Metropolitan State University of Denver as vice president for Diversity and Inclusion. 

His role includes providing leadership over the development, implementation and assessment of diversity strategic goals and planning, institutional efforts and programming aimed at cultivating and sustaining an equitable and inclusive campus climate, and ensuring that diversity, equity and inclusion are prominent components in the decision-making and organizational culture that drives inclusive excellence. Benitez has authored book chapters and articles on student identity, hip-hop culture, cultural centers, faculty development, cultural and ethnic studies, and campus climate assessment. Prior to joining MSU Denver, Benitez served as chief diversity officer/dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Puget Sound, director of Intercultural Leadership and Engagement at Lafayette College, director of Diversity Initiatives at Dickinson College and CAMP retention and academic counselor at Penn State University. Benitez completed his B.S. and M.Ed. at Pennsylvania State University, where he gained interest in pursuing doctoral studies as a McNair Scholar. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from Iowa State University’s School of Education and has been recognized with several leadership and scholarly awards throughout his career.

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