Why Inclusion Matters

The University of Kentucky College of Public Health aims to be a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion, in line with our vision to be the catalyst of positive change for population health. As we work to accomplish our mission to develop health champions, conduct multidisciplinary and applied research, and collaborate with partners to improve health for Kentucky and beyond, we understand that excellence in teaching, scholarship and practice is not possible without diversity and inclusion. Our greatest and longest-lasting contributions to achieving improved population health are: the creation of new knowledge, the development of the next generation of well-trained professionals, and the fostering of an environment in which all members can flourish regardless of age, race/ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language/culture, national origin, religion, political perspective or disability status. Advancing diversity and inclusive excellence in the college enables us to live up to our values, to promote the common good and to achieve greater impact by understanding and promoting a rich variety of perspectives.


At CPH, inclusion matters because it:

  • Fosters excellence, creativity and innovation;
  • ​Broadens our scope of inquiry, and helps us better understand and address health disparities;
  • ​Enhances our ability to attract and retain unique and talented students, faculty and staff in a changing demographic landscape; and
  • ​Positions us for global education, service and research preeminence.


Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence

Dr. Tomi Akinyemiju

Dr. Tomi Akinyemiju serves as Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence at the College of Public Health. In this role, she works to promote proper and fair treatment to all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, political belief, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. Dr. Akinyemiju will work with faculty, staff and students within the College of Public Health and collaboratively with other units across the University to develop programs and strategies to: 1) promote a diverse, inclusive and equitable academic environment, 2) eliminate barriers to excellence that may disproportionately affect any group of individuals compared with others, and 3) encourage individual and collective action towards these goals at every level within the college.