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Whitworth University Names Joshue Orozco as University’s Inaugural Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

April 29, 2022

Whitworth University is pleased to announce Joshue Orozco, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, has been appointed as associate dean of diversity, equity & inclusion, a newly created position within the academic affairs office. Orozco was selected by the diversity cabinet and will serve as a liaison between the chief diversity officer, provost, deans and faculty.

“I am honored to have been entrusted with the task of helping our university become a more diverse, equitable and just community,” Orozco says. “This work flows out of our Christian calling to love all people and to model Jesus’ life in bringing healing and reconciliation to the world. Although I am the first person in this position, there are (and have been) many people in our community who have worked tirelessly to make our university more just and equitable. I am so thankful for groundwork that they have laid, and I am humbled to walk alongside them in this journey.” 

Orozco’s core responsibilities will include:

In collaboration with the chief diversity officer, assisting departments in preparing and conducting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) audits. 

Assisting in reviewing audits and designing corrective actions and/or steps to enhance DEI program effectiveness.

Helping faculty members implement and oversee DEI initiatives in their departments and academic curricula. 

Helping recruit and retain diverse faculty members.

“Josh is the right person to significantly enhance our DEI efforts in academic affairs,” says Gregor Thuswaldner, provost & executive vice president. “He is an experienced academic leader who has served as a department chair and member of important university-wide committees. As the inaugural associate dean of diversity, equity & inclusion, Josh will help the faculty diversify their curriculum and will also continue his work in retaining underrepresented student populations.”

Orozco has taught at Whitworth since 2009 and is currently the philosophy department chair. In 2011, he received the Weyerhaeuser Center Award for Faith & Teaching. In 2013, he received the Academic Mentoring Award, and in 2021, he was granted a Weyerhaeuser Summer Fellowship. Orozco is now looking forward to his new position.

“We need to be a university where everybody (students, staff and faculty), regardless of their identity, feels they belong and are loved for who are, and where everyone is given equitable opportunities to flourish,” he says. “I hope to collaborate with people across all areas of our university to examine our practices and structures, and to creatively bring about change so that we can live better into that ideal. I am blessed to work alongside a lot of brilliant people, and I am excited to learn from them and support this work.”

Orozco earned his doctorate in philosophy from Rutgers University, his master’s in philosophy of religion from Biola University, and his bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Orozco will begin his new position July 1.

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or