B. Afeni McNeely Cobham Headshot
B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, PhD | Associate Vice Chancellor and Vice Provost for EDI and Belonging

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

We are pleased to announce the appointment of B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, PhD as the inaugural associate vice chancellor and vice provost for equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging (EDIB) at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) beginning on April 3, 2023. The new position was identified as a key component of EDIB efforts at UNCSA as part of a framework developed in 2020 that outlines the explicit and continual process of identifying and dismantling systems and practices of bias, exclusion, and oppression. 

A native of East New York, Brooklyn, McNeely Cobham has served in higher education for 31 years as a senior administrator, faculty member, curator, and consultant, helping students, faculty, and staff build holistic communities. As a practitioner-scholar-activist, she has seen her work benefit student engagement units in academic advising, residential life, judicial affairs, campus activities, career services, enrollment management, multicultural affairs, and more. Last year, she launched J.E.D.I. TIP (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion), a consultant group that offers contemporary and authentic approaches to diversity, equity, and inclusion practices that sustain organizational growth.

McNeely Cobham was the inaugural chief equity and inclusion officer at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC), serving from 2018-22. She was instrumental in moving the institution toward an overhaul of its strategic plan and working across the GRCC community to center principles of equity throughout the institution. She also developed the purpose, vision and values for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in partnership with campus and community stakeholders.

Prior to GRCC, McNeely Cobham served as an associate dean at Connecticut College, associate provost of student life and affiliate faculty at the University of Denver, and assistant dean at Brown University. She also taught at Salem State University in Massachusetts, Metropolitan State University (MSU) of Denver, and Indiana University, among others.

The full press release is linked here.

Rebecca Swartz led this search with Mx. Angelo Alexander and Harley Bartles.