The Office of the Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion is responsible for integrating equity and inclusion in every aspect of the educational, residential, and professional life of the College. The Dean and offices in this division work collaboratively with colleagues across campus to promote a culture of inclusion; implement policies in support of full participation; develop and coordinate programs that address equity and inclusion; and foster conversations to enhance open dialogue and discussion.

John F. McKnight Jr.

Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion

John F. McKnight Jr. is the dean of institutional equity and inclusion at Connecticut College, effective July 1, 2016. 

At Connecticut College, McKnight will be responsible for the overall vision and leadership of the work of equity and inclusion, and will collaborate with leaders across campus to fulfill its commitment to full participation. He will oversee the offices of the associate dean of equity and inclusion, religious and spiritual life, the Womxn’s Center, Unity House, the LGBTQIA Center and the Title IX coordinator.

McKnight holds a doctorate in education, administration, and leadership studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master of science in higher education administration from Indiana University Bloomington and a bachelor of science from the University of Florida.

Over the past 10 years, he enjoyed a series of increasingly responsible administrative positions, first at Lehigh University and later, at Lafayette College, where he designed and implemented successful initiatives to foster inclusive campus communities. Of particular note are the programs in intercultural competency and in social justice peer education that he established at Lafayette, both of which have had a singular impact on the campus culture. 

As dean of intercultural development and deputy Title IX coordinator at Lafayette College since 2011, McKnight was responsible for managing five areas within the campus life division, including student leadership and involvement, religious and spiritual life, gender and sexuality programs, international student advising, and intercultural development. He designed and implemented an annual social justice ally development retreat for students and, as coordinator of the bias-response team, co-led the “Civility Project,” a proactive approach to bias education. A natural collaborator, John worked closely with faculty, staff, and students across the divisions to advance programming, advocacy for underrepresented populations, and community building. He also transformed Lafayette’s multicultural recruitment efforts in partnership with the enrollment management division, leading to positive outcomes. He was twice named the Aaron O. Hoff Administrator of the Year, and also received an Excellence in Mentorship Award at Lafayette, in recognition of these efforts.