University News

Lorenzo Boyd, Ph.D., Named Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at University of New Haven

A widely respected authority on diversity issues in criminal justice, Dr. Boyd has decades of experience as an educator and a law enforcement professional. He will oversee the implementation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan for the university.

June 24, 2020

Lorenzo Boyd
Lorenzo Boyd, Ph.D.

University of New Haven President Steven H. Kaplan, Ph.D., has named Lorenzo Boyd, Ph.D., to the newly created position of vice president for diversity and inclusion/chief diversity officer.

Dr. Boyd has served as the University of New Haven’s assistant provost for diversity and inclusion and director of its Center for Advanced Policing and is a nationally recognized authority on community policing and racial justice.

President Kaplan said, “It was clear that the university has an incredibly talented and effective person in Lorenzo. He is highly respected both internally and externally as a thought leader and has demonstrated a strong commitment to our students and belief in our mission. Simply put, I couldn’t imagine the University of New Haven finding someone more uniquely qualified to lead our important efforts toward inclusive excellence that need to begin immediately.”

Dr. Kaplan had announced the creation of the new post several weeks ago as part of a series of institutional initiatives in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd and the nationwide examination of police brutality and racial injustice led by Black Lives Matter.

Dr. Boyd will serve as an adviser to President Kaplan and serve on the President’s Cabinet as well as the university’s Leadership Council. He will play a pivotal role in developing and leading the implementation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan for the university.

He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to begin immediately collaborating with units across campus to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts already ongoing and implement new initiatives. Dr. Boyd will help lead the university in creating and sustaining an environment that demonstrates inclusive excellence for all and will oversee the important work of the university’s Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

"I couldn’t imagine the University of New Haven finding someone more uniquely qualified to lead our important efforts toward inclusive excellence that need to begin immediately."President Steven Kaplan, Ph.D.

Dr. Boyd joined the university in 2019, and his expertise and efforts have helped to build the university’s Center for Advanced Policing into a national resource for professional development, with a central focus on building levels of empathy and cultural competence among police leaders and officers.

He is a nationally recognized leader in police-community relations and an authority on urban policing, diversity issues in criminal justice, race and crime, and criminal justice systems. He credits his 14-year tenure in the Suffolk County (Mass.) Sheriff’s department – working in policing, corrections, and the courts – in shaping his approach to teaching, research, and training.

Dr. Boyd is also a faculty member in the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven. He has taught at the university level for 20 years. Prior to joining the Lee College faculty, he was associate professor and chair of the departments of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and previously was the master’s program coordinator for the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s School of Criminology & Justice Studies.

A former president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Science and a life member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Dr. Boyd’s expertise was sought out in the aftermath of high-profile shootings in Baton Rouge, Dallas, and Ferguson. In 2019, he led a study addressing issues of racism, bias, and police and community relations at Yale University after a white graduate student called the police to report a black graduate student who was asleep in a residence hall common room.

While working as an associate professor and graduate coordinator of criminal justice at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, N.C., he was asked by the city’s police chiefto create a community-policing program. After observing the community’s high levels of unemployment, drug use, and transience, and lack of afterschool programs, Dr. Boyd recommended the city first develop a community-wellness program.

As an adviser to the Fayetteville police chief for eight years, he worked with city agencies to make numerous improvements and held community-police forums where residents could talk about complaints, including concerns about racial profiling, and police officers could share their own experiences. He then created a community-policing program that included training modules for sworn and non-sworn personnel on topics including ethics and leadership; researched and developed new evidence-based policing strategies; and assisted with officer recruitment.

Widely published, Dr. Boyd recently authored the book Massachusetts's Criminal Justice System. His writing has also appeared in Race and Justice, the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, and Criminal Justice Studies: A Critical Journal of Crime, Law and Society.

He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Northeastern University, his M.A. in applied sociology from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a B.A. in sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

"I have no doubt that his fine leadership and collaborative approach to working with members across the university will helpenhance and sustain an environment that demonstrates our core value and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity for each and every member," President Kaplan said.