The Rev. Canon Hugh R. Page Jr., vice president and associate provost at the University of Notre Dame, will become the University’s first vice president for institutional transformation and advisor to the president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, announced today.
In his new role, Page will serve as a strategic leader working closely with the president and University leadership to create and coordinate an integrated diversity, equity and inclusion strategy centrally and across the various divisions, colleges and schools.
“While we have made great strides in recent years, the Board of Trustees task force on diversity, equity and inclusion called us to renew our focus on long-term, sustainable change and to harness the tremendous dedication, imagination and innovation of the Notre Dame community to improve the experience of our students from underrepresented groups, to enhance the diversity of our faculty and staff, and to deepen conversations and understanding about race, equality and justice,” Father Jenkins said. “Hugh will be a critical leader for us in this regard.
“Hugh is a wise and trusted colleague whose communication skills and strategic insight, along with his depth of knowledge about Notre Dame and its distinctive mission, will contribute to making the University a better version of itself. I look forward to working closely with him on these key priorities.”
Page will report to Father Jenkins and assist in formulating and leading the implementation of a broad strategy around diversity and inclusion, monitor progress on that plan, convene diversity leaders, anticipate challenges and work with units to catalyze structural and cultural change that will serve the University’s ideals around diversity and inclusion. He will advise the president and University leadership and serve as a public University representative to constituencies outside the immediate campus community.
“This is an exciting step in the University’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and I am honored to be the first person selected for this new role,” Page said. “We must be intentional and creative in investing our energies and resources if we are more fully to become an inclusive and welcoming community — one where a commitment to justice and love animates all transformational endeavors. I look forward to working with Father Jenkins, University leaders, faculty, staff, students, alumni and other partners to achieve our goals.”
Page, a professor of theology and Africana studies, was appointed vice president and associate provost for institutional transformation and leadership development in 2021. His major responsibilities include administrative supervision of the Center for Social Concerns, Notre Dame Scholars’ Program, Balfour-Hesburgh Scholars Program, AnBryce Scholars Initiative, Transformational Leaders Program, TRiO Programs, Academic Community Engagement, Notre Dame Learning and domestic gateways.
Page served as Notre Dame’s vice president and associate provost for undergraduate affairs from 2013 to 2021 and was dean of the University’s First Year of Studies for 14 years. During this time, he helped create the University’s Moreau First Year Experience course sequence. He has also served as associate dean for undergraduate studies in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and director of the African and African American Studies Program. He was instrumental in the development of the latter into the Department of Africana Studies, which he later chaired from 2012 to 2015, and has been involved in numerous diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
An Episcopal priest, Page is an honorary canon of the Cathedral of St. James, Diocese of Northern Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Hampton University, two master’s degrees from the General Theological Seminary in New York, a doctorate in ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation, and master’s and doctoral degrees in Near Eastern languages and civilizations from Harvard University. He joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1992, and in 2001 he received a Presidential Award for distinguished service to the University.
An award-winning teacher, Page is an eminent Hebrew Bible scholar and philologist who works in the areas of early Hebrew poetry, Ugaritic language and literature, Africana biblical interpretation and esotericism in Africa and the African Diaspora. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Council and was recently appointed as an associate editor for the Journal of Biblical Literature.
Page is the author, editor or co-editor of seven books, including “Exploring New Paradigms in Biblical and Cognate Studies,” “The Myth of Cosmic Rebellion: A Study of its Reflexes in Ugaritic & Biblical Literature,” “Exodus: A Bible Commentary for Every Day,” “The Africana Bible: Reading Israel’s Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora,” “Israel’s Poetry of Resistance: Africana Perspectives on Early Hebrew Verse,” ‘“There is a Mystery’: Esotericism in African American Religious Experience” and “The Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha.”