Following a comprehensive national search, the University of North Texas System has announced the appointment of Dannetta English Bland as Chief Diversity Officer, effective July 19, 2021. Bland will join the UNT System after spending nearly 17 years at Deloitte, one of the world’s largest professional services firms. Bland brings a wealth of experience advising Fortune 500 companies on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and talent strategy, cultural and workforce transformation, as well as executive transition and alignment. Bland worked closely with the Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officers while at Deloitte, analyzing data associated with root causes, assessing and enhancing the talent lifecycle, and architecting a long-term strategy to advance DEI through a culture of anti-racism and systemic changes.
“Dannetta English Bland is an accomplished trailblazer in DEI strategy, and we are excited to have her join our leadership team to help build upon the UNT System’s core belief that higher education should be accessible to everyone,” Chancellor Lesa Roe said. “Dannetta will help our system and member institutions find authentic ways to come together and affirm the value of our diverse students, faculty and staff.”
While at Deloitte, Bland designed and delivered in-person, virtual and web-based DEI labs, learning programs, trainings and experiences for students, executives and board members globally. She has authored DEI thought leadership, communication strategies and leadership toolkits. Bland has led national business resource groups, talent acquisition teams that recruited diverse collegiate candidates from top-tier universities and partnered with key stakeholders to align diversity and inclusion programming, investments and partnerships with overall company strategy and metrics.
“I am honored to have been appointed and entrusted to serve the UNT System’s students, faculty, staff, families and communities – I wholeheartedly feel that this role was created especially for me at this exact moment in time,” Bland said. “I look forward to bringing bold innovative ideas and serving as a catalyst for promoting a culture of allyship, and an inclusive work and learning environment where all leaders belong and thrive.”
A new position for the UNT System that reports to the Chancellor, the Chief Diversity Officer is a thought leader and subject-matter expert who will work collaboratively with existing campus and system DEI advisory groups, as well as with campus HR leaders, to refine and accelerate this important work. In this role, Bland will communicate strategic initiatives and progress toward DEI to the UNT System Board of Regents and all levels of system and campus leadership.
With two Minority Serving Institutions and a system-wide student body that is “minority-majority,” the UNT System’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion remains steadfast. Investing in talent and culture is a top priority across UNT World, with a focus on driving progress toward aspirational goals that will enhance our system-wide efforts to be a leader in embracing and developing diverse students, faculty and staff.
Bland is a graduate of the University of Houston and is Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC). She has served Visiting Professorships at the University of Houston, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin. Bland is passionate about serving the community around her and has served on multiple nonprofit and advisory board inclusive of INROADS, Inc., the National Association of Black Accountants, the University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business Accounting Advisory Board and the Louisiana State University E.J. Ourso College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS SYSTEM
The University of North Texas System includes the University of North Texas in Denton, the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth and the University of North Texas at Dallas. As the only public university system based in Dallas-Fort Worth, the UNT System support local communities and creates economic opportunity through education and research. Over the past decade, combined UNT System enrollment has grown by more than 25 percent to more than 47,000 students. UNT System institutions award more than 11,000 degrees each year – including the largest number of master’s and doctoral degrees in the DFW region.