Ryan Saddler, a longtime leader in the work of honoring the St. Ambrose University core value of diversity, has been appointed the university's first Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
"This is the right person and this is the right time for our university to redouble its efforts to become a more diverse campus while rejecting bigotry and exclusion," said Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD, president of St. Ambrose University. "Ryan's appointment to this position will help further our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion."
Saddler graduated from St. Ambrose in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology. He added a Master of Education with a Postsecondary Disability Services emphasis from St. Ambrose in 2006, and has worked at the university in multiple roles since 1995.
Most recently he served in the dual roles of Director of Diversity and Director of the Accessibility Resource Center. Although Saddler will continue to supervise both offices, Fritz Dieudonné has been appointed to the position of Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Alyse Schmidt has been promoted to the position Assistant Director of the Accessibility Resource Center.
"These moves ensure students with disabilities the same level of attention they have received in the past," Saddler said.
Creating a More Diverse Campus
Ryan Saddler, a longtime leader in the work of honoring the St. Ambrose core value of diversity, has been appointed the university's first Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. "I look forward to ensuring St. Ambrose is a place where diverse perspectives and populations are welcomed and embraced. All students, faculty and staff must have a sense of belonging."
Saddler has led the university's Diversity Workgroup for a decade and believes his new position will help St. Ambrose more comprehensively and responsively address diversity challenges, issues and opportunities.
Saddler said progress toward building and embracing diversity at any institution requires intentionality, time and consistent attention.
"Creating the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion essentially affords the university the opportunity to focus on our core value of diversity in a more intentional way, " he said. "I'm excited about the opportunity and challenge ahead for me.
"As an alumnus, I have a tremendous affinity for the St. Ambrose community," Saddler added. "I look forward to ensuring St. Ambrose is a place where diverse perspectives and populations are welcomed and embraced. All students, faculty and staff must have a sense of belonging."
Saddler is well known in the Quad Cities for his work on enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the community. He is a tri-chair in the recently launched United Way of the Quad Cities African American Leadership Society; is the founding president of Friends of MLK, Inc., in Davenport; holds a leadership role in the local NAACP chapter; is Vice President of Quad City Minority Partnership; and a member of the Unity Point Health Mission Effectiveness Committee, the Davenport Schools Equity Committee, the QC Chamber Q2030 Steering Committee, and founding member of the Quad City Empowerment Network. He also is working on a start-up organization, QC Black Professionals in Higher Education, which hopes to influence the recruitment and retention of black higher education professionals in our region.