SUNY Geneseo has named robbie rifka routenberg ‘05 as the College’s first chief diversity officer (CDO), effective May 31.
routenberg (lowercase, they/them/theirs pronouns used) will lead the College’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to advance the broader aim of creating an inclusive and supportive campus climate. They will provide guidance on a range of efforts including ensuring compliance with laws prohibiting discrimination; overseeing campus matters relating to Title IX, affirmative action, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and domestic violence; and supervising both the Title IX coordinator and the affirmative action compliance specialist. The appointment also addresses the expectation, articulated in the SUNY Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy, that all campuses appoint a chief diversity officer.
“I am excited to have robbie join SUNY Geneseo’s leadership team on an ongoing basis,” said President Denise A. Battles. “robbie’s range of experience and demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion make me confident that they will be a strong and visionary leader for Geneseo.”
For the past year, routenberg has served as interim CDO at Geneseo and provided leadership for the College’s newly created Office of Diversity and Equity, which draws together the structure and staffing around work associated with diversity, equity and inclusion, Title IX and Affirmative Action. routenberg has also led the efforts to create or revise College policies and procedures related to advancing Geneseo’s broader aim of creating an inclusive climate that celebrates diversity, promotes equity and supports the entire campus community. Through co-leadership of the President’s Commission on Diversity and Community, routenberg has prioritized the development of new outreach efforts to provide stronger visibility and campus presence to existing diversity initiatives.
"It has been a pleasure to serve my alma mater in the role of interim CDO,” said routenberg. “I am delighted to become the ongoing CDO and to work collaboratively to further align our campus with our shared goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion. There is a powerful collective energy here that will propel us to build upon our many strengths to achieve our vision."
Prior to Geneseo, robbie served as director and instructor of the Global Scholars Program at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. In this role, routenberg provided strategic vision and leadership to efforts focusing on social, academic, financial and emotional counsel to students from diverse backgrounds. They also developed courses to challenge students to critically explore issues of global relevance and injustices. Prior to the role as director, routenberg served as the program’s associate director and was responsible for programming oversight and student leadership training. In addition to the leadership of the Global Scholars Program, routenberg served as the Inclusive Pedagogies Committee Chair of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. As a founder and lead consultant for InciteChange! Consulting, L.L.C., routenberg is frequently called upon to design and deliver training, workshops and keynote addresses on topics related to building organizational capacity for issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
routenberg earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in psychology and cognitive science from SUNY Geneseo. They hold a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Michigan.