Appointment of Vice President for Inclusive Excellence


Dear VCU and VCU Health Communities,

It is my pleasure to announce that Aashir Nasim, Ph.D., a respected scholar and academic administrator, has been named the new vice president for inclusive excellence at Virginia Commonwealth University, effective April 2. His appointment will be official upon approval at the upcoming board meeting.

Dr. Nasim currently serves as interim senior vice provost for faculty affairs and director of the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry & Innovation (iCubed) at VCU. In his new position, Dr. Nasim will lead the Division for Inclusive Excellence and implement a newly adopted Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan designed to fulfill VCU’s vision of becoming a model university for inclusivity. He also will continue as director of iCubed.

Dr. Nasim is a respected scholar who is admired around the nation and who brings an important lens of diversity and inclusion to his work and to our university community. He is a thoughtful and passionate leader who embodies VCU’s mission of tackling difficult problems to serve the public good. I have valued his leadership over the past decade and look forward to working closely with him as he advances our commitments to diversity and inclusion everywhere and ensures that VCU will always be a place where all people can succeed.

As senior vice provost, Dr. Nasim has served as chief administrator for the Office of Faculty Affairs and led faculty development and success initiatives on the university’s academic, medical and international campuses. In his position with iCubed, he has been responsible for new transdisciplinary academic and research programs that have included more than 50 faculty and postdoctoral researchers from across the university.

Dr. Nasim has a Ph.D. in psychology from Howard University. He arrived at VCU in 2008 as an associate professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology and the Department of African American Studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences. He was promoted to professor in 2017. His administrative appointments have included tenures as chair of the Department of African American Studies and as a special assistant to the provost.

Dr. Nasim is a National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities Scholar and a VCU Massey Cancer Center Research Program member. His research has focused on topics involving tobacco and other drug behaviors, sexual risk behaviors, and culture and identity behavior. He began his academic career in 2001 as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at James Madison University.

My sincere thanks to Dr. Kevin Allison, for serving as interim vice president for Diversity and Inclusion and also Dr. Rosalyn Hobson Hargraves, who served as acting chief diversity officer during this transition. They especially should be recognized for their work to finalize and begin implementation of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan.

Best wishes,

Michael Rao
President, VCU and VCU Health