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Highline Hires First VP of Equity, Diversity and Transformation

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2023-08-28T16:18:20+00:00 July 19, 2023|News|
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Highline Hires First VP of Equity, Diversity and Transformation

  • Photo of Dr. Maribel Jimenez

Dr. Maribel Jimenez Began July 17, 2023

Dr. Maribel Jimenez has been named vice president at Highline College. She will oversee the college’s equity, diversity and inclusion efforts.

Highline College’s new equity, diversity and transformation vice president position sits within the President’s Office, among Academic Affairs, Student Services, Institutional Advancement and Administrative Services divisions. Jimenez will lead the college in creating an environment that values and demonstrates its commitment to equity, diversity and transformation by developing, aligning and/or integrating a range of new and existing initiatives, policies and procedures into a cohesive, collegewide plan.

Highline College is the most diverse higher education institution in the state with over 75% of the student population identifying as students of color. Our students represent approximately 45 countries and speak more than 100 languages.

“I see this new [equity, diversity and transformation] division as a hub that can strategically align, keep and speak to all the campuswide initiatives and show how they all align with the college’s mission and vision of becoming an anti-racist college,” Jimenez said, noting that she acknowledges the hard work and sacrifice of those before her and those who continue to do anti-racist work at Highline.

Jimenez brings nine years of experience in higher education and a total of 18 years in higher education and K-12. She plans to incorporate strategic thinking, combine resources and initiatives, convey truth-telling and transparency, and infuse “corazón,” or heart, into her new role.

“An admired and respected educator, locally and nationally, Dr. Jimenez brings a vast amount of experience and passion for this work in the area of equity, diversity and transformation,” Highline College President John Mosby said. “After meeting with all of our finalists, it was quite clear across all campus constituents that Dr. Jimenez would be the best and ideal person to lead and collaborate with our campus in this exciting and much needed role.”

Jimenez said she feels her entire career has prepared her for this position.

“I believe that each of us is where we need to be and being at Highline is a privilege,” she said. “What I mean by that is Highline College has a reputation for being on an anti-racist journey and we may not always get it right, but there are a lot of people working very hard to serve our students and community, and I wanted to continue to be part of the journey with all of the Highline familia in this capacity.”

Jimenez has served nationally through Escala Educational Services, Inc., the Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institution Educators (AHSIE) Council, National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE). At the state level, she has served on the Multicare Memorial Hospital Board, the Multicultural Student Services Directors’ Council, the Articulation and Transfer Council and the College Success Foundation. Locally, she was part of the City of Federal Way’s Equity Task Force.

Before becoming vice president of equity, diversity and transformation, Jimenez was Highline’s dean of academic transfer pathways and partnerships. In this role, she partnered with deans across the state’s transfer institutions and worked closely with Highline faculty.

“My time at Highline has been informative in many ways,” Jimenez said. “I have been able to build relationships, understand institutional structures, priorities, and goals.”

Jimenez worked at Yakima Valley College as a faculty counselor and Title V grant director before her time at Highline. Before that, she was a teacher and counselor in K-12.

“I believe that education is one effective way to gain economic mobility and can impact entire generations of families and communities,” Jimenez said. “At the same time, I also know that institutions of higher education were not designed for everyone. It is our responsibility to examine the ways that we as an institution continue to upkeep and perpetuate white supremacy culture and white normative ways of being and knowing that prevent us from serving all students.

“My passion has been and continues to be doing my part in creating an institution where students, faculty and staff feel like they can be their whole selves without having to leave any of their intersecting identities at the door.”

Jimenez received her associate of arts degree from Yakima Valley College, her bachelor’s in criminal justice and Master of Social Work from Eastern Washington University, and her doctorate in education in organization leadership from Northcentral University, now known as National University. Her dissertation’s research focus was on strategic planning for Hispanic-serving institutions.

A Federal Way resident, Jimenez spends her free time with her familia and enjoys thrifting, true crime podcasts, documentaries, being a foodie and learning about the people’s history.