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2024 Power 100: Marlina Duncan

A woman with dark hair in a dark grey suit and white shirt stands in front of windows looking out to buildings and a grassy area. Photo I Courtesy of UMass Chan Medical School Marlina Duncan
Marlina Duncan Title Chief diversity officer and vice chancellor for diversity & inclusion Company UMass Chan Medical School, in Worcester Employees 6,729 at UMass Chan; 11 in Duncan's office Residence Whitinsville Colleges Westfield State University, University of Massachusetts Amherst Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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Since joining UMass Chan Medical School in 2020, Marlina Duncan has offered strategic guidance for the university’s programs and initiatives, working to support the hiring of faculty and recruitment and retention of graduate students from demographics often underrepresented in the medical field, in addition to providing training to optimize the equity of the department’s climate.

With Duncan’s influence, UMass Chan added a diversity, equity, and inclusion pillar to the university’s IMPACT 2025 strategic plan in 2022, picking 10 of the university’s departments to front new action plans. Just one year later in 2023, UMass Chan was named among The Boston Globe’s 23 Top Places to Work winners that excel at championing DEI. During Duncan’s tenure, the Diversity and Inclusion Office at the only public medical school in Massachusetts has expanded, with a rise in DEI training and professional development and the creation of multiple affinity groups for students and faculty to foster a greater sense of belonging among its most marginalized community members.

In September, data from UMass Chan’s 2023 Diversity Engagement Survey reported marked improvements in both survey participation and the university community’s outlook. The survey received 2,700 responses which accounted for about 50% of those surveyed, as opposed to a 36% response rate from 2020. The results showed 76% expressed confidence they could bring their best and full self to work, and 90% felt their work contributes to the mission of the UMass Chan.

Overall, the areas surveyed reflected improvements since 2020 except for the common purpose and vision category, which dropped 1.8 percentage points to 83% favorable, and the sense of belonging category, which dropped by 0.3 percentage points to 76% favorable. 

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

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