McGeorge Announces New Deans for Diversity Initiatives
After four years serving as McGeorge School of Law’s first faculty Associate Dean for Diversity Initiatives, Professor Rachael Salcido is returning to her faculty role full-time. Succeeding her are Senior Assistant Dean of Admission, Strategic Diversity Initiatives, & Financial Aid Tracy Simmons and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Larry Levine. They will work closely and collaboratively with Dean Simmons primarily focusing on students and staff and Dean Levine focusing on faculty and curriculum.
“The dual appointments of Dean Tracy Simmons and Professor Larry Levine in shared roles as Associate Dean for Diversity Initiatives is an exciting move for the law school,” said Kirsten Brown, President of McGeorge’s Alumni Board, “Both Dean Simmons and Professor Levine have extensive experience in the diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism space. Having advocated for these issues long before it was trendy to do so, their dedicated commitment to DEI and anti-racism, and strong leadership will significantly benefit McGeorge students, faculty, and staff. I remain grateful to Professor Rachael Salcido for the positive progress she made during her time in this role.”
During Salcido’s tenure as Associate Dean for Diversity Initiatives McGeorge made important advances in DEI. Because of her leadership, McGeorge created the Center for Inclusion and Diversity, updated restroom signage to be gender inclusive, and provided DEI trainings and programming at various levels and entry points for faculty, staff and students. During her time in the role she also published Retooling Environmental Justice, presented at the 4th National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, which was a follow-up to her 2016 article Reviving the Environmental Justice Agenda. Salcido has also been an incredible resource to McGeorge’s Unity Caucus, which she will continue to be as a full-time faculty member. Additionally, Salcido’s work was critical to progress McGeorge made on its DEI goals, such as revising student course evaluations to include a DEI question, creating an Annual Unity Graduation Celebration, and establishing a Diversity-Focused Alumni Board.
“Dean Salcido has been a tenacious advocate in the McGeorge community on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Eric Barnum, Chair of McGeorge’s Diversity Board. “She has made valuable contributions to the Diversity Board and really helped us set a strong foundation for our work in the early days of us coming together.”
Dean Simmons served as McGeorge’s first Assistant Dean for Diversity Initiatives from 2013 to 2017. She was one of the inaugural CLEO EDGE honorees for her work on diversity issues in legal education. Simmons is also known in the Sacramento and higher education community for her work on the Sacramento State University Division of Criminal Justice Community Advisory Committee and the Advisory Board of the California System Involved Bar Association. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Court Appointed Special Advocates.
“I am thrilled to be working with Dean Simmons and Dean Levine. Dean Simmons is a respected voice at McGeorge and in the larger Sacramento community. She brings passion, credibility, and a tireless commitment to making McGeorge a safe and inclusive environment for all students, staff, faculty, and alumni,” said Barnum. “Larry Levine’s track record on diversity, equity, and inclusion is unmistakable. I witnessed firsthand his advocacy on behalf of students of color during my time at McGeorge. He was in the trenches working with us to make sure BIPOC students and all diverse students felt included and valued. Professor Levine was McGeorge’s diversity, equity, and inclusion ‘Director’ before it was chic or trendy. He’s been doing the work for decades. I am so thrilled that he is now being recognized for the work he has done and being given the charge to do the work that still needs to get done. I look forward to working with both Deans Levine and Simmons in the years ahead.”
Dean Levine is an esteemed leader in the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. He established McGeorge’s Jeffrey K. Poile Endowed Memorial Scholarship, an LGBTQIA+ civil rights scholarship, and helped launch SacLEGAL, Sacramento’s LGBT Bar Association. He previously advised McGeorge’s Black Law Students Association for fourteen years, has advised LAMBDA since 1996, has taught Orientation/Gender Identity Law since the mid-1990s, and continues to regularly write and speak on issues affecting the LGBTQIA+ community.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Associate Dean Levine in his new role,” said Lexi Howard, a member of the Diversity Board, “His ongoing legacy of many decades of meeting students where they are and helping identify their strengths and attain success – both during and after their time at McGeorge – continues to distinguish his lifelong commitment to supporting students.”