Special Assistants to the President for Equity & Justice


Chris Arguedas and Jacob Alden Sargent will be taking on the roles of special assistants to the president for equity and justice.

Dear Oxy Community,

I am pleased to announce that Chris Arguedas and Jacob Alden Sargent will be taking on the roles of special assistants to the president for equity and justice, effective immediately. Both Chris, the director of the Intercultural Community Center (ICC) and Jacob, the associate director for instruction and research for the Center for Digital Liberal Arts (CDLA) in the Library, are well-known in the Oxy community.

Chris, who arrived at Oxy in 2018 and has headed the ICC for the past two years, has transformed the way our community perceives and uses the ICC. Jacob, who will celebrate his 10th anniversary at Oxy this year, supports faculty and students in their use of information resources and taught a CSP on trans and non-binary experiences. I am indeed grateful to them for stepping up into these critical roles. They will serve as special assistants on a half-time basis through December 2021.

I have made these appointments based on the recommendation of the Equity and Justice Committee (EJC). In line with that recommendation, Jacob and Chris will take the lead on laying the groundwork for equity and justice strategic planning and on preparing the way for the new Vice President for Equity and Justice and Chief Diversity Officer (VPEJ/CDO).

More specially, as special assistants, Jacob and Chris will:

  • Prepare an inventory of Equity and Justice activities already underway at the College.

  • Coordinate Oxy’s participation in the Liberal Arts College Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA). 

  • Begin constructing a professional development/training plan for the Occidental community.

  • Work with the director of institutional research to evaluate campus climate data related to equity and justice through examination of previous institutional and national surveys.

  • Develop the College’s Equity and Justice website. 

  • Work with the ICC to foster community through programming that supports faculty, students, and staff from underrepresented or marginalized communities.

  • Participate on the VPEJ/CDO search committee and play a leadership role in campus search visits.

  • Serve as a support to the newly appointed VPEJ/CDO through the end of the fall 2021 semester.

Please join me in congratulating Jacob and Chris on their important new roles. I thank you in advance for your support of their efforts.

Very best,
President Elam