Dr. Tabbye Chavous is the Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Michigan. She is also a professor of education and professor of psychology.
A native of Aiken, South Carolina, Dr. Chavous attended the University of Virginia where she received her bachelor’s degree and went on to earn a PhD in Community Psychology. Following her graduate work, Dr. Chavous entered the University of Michigan as an assistant professor and moved up the ranks to professor.
Dr. Chavous has held leadership roles at the department, college, and central administration levels during her almost 24 years at U-M. Most recently, she was the director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity and associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Prior to that, Dr. Chavous served as an associate vice president for research, associate dean for academic programs and initiatives in the Rackham Graduate School, and chair of the Combined Program in Education and Psychology. Across all of her roles, the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion have been central to her leadership approaches and practices and infused throughout the initiatives, programs, and practices she helped develop and implement.
Dr. Chavous’ expertise and research activities center around (1) social identity development among Black adolescents and young adults; (2) achievement motivation processes among ethnic minority students; and (3) the measurement and impacts of diversity climates in secondary and higher education settings and implications for students’ academic, social, and psychological adjustment. In collaboration with a number of her graduate student and postdoctoral mentees, she has published extensively in these areas. Dr. Chavous’ work has been supported by grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Science Foundation, and Spencer Foundation. Dr. Chavous also served as co-director of the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context, which she co-founded in 2008, which supports research and research training of students, postdocs, and early career scholars around the positive development of diverse Black youth and families.
Dr. Chavous’ undergraduate and graduate teaching contributions focus on developmental, psychological, cultural, and organizational processes relevant to education and youth development. Examples include: adolescent psychology, with a focus on the contexts of schools, communities, and other societal institutions; community psychology; educational psychology and human development; foundations of teaching and learning; schools as organizations; race, ethnicity, and culture in education; and using social science to address “achievement gaps,” or educational disparities across race, ethnicity, gender, and social class. Her research and teaching have allowed her to engage and collaborate with and mentor students from across disciplines and campus units, which is one of the things she has found most meaningful in her career.
Based on her academic and scholarly work and leadership impacts, Dr. Chavous has been called on locally, nationally, and internationally to consult and collaborate in efforts to broaden access, participation, and retention and thriving in higher education – more broadly and in fields such as science, technology, mathematics and engineering. These efforts focus on all levels of the academy–undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty.