Saying goodbye

Sandra Mayo announces resignation

Audrey Oscarson, Staff writer

Dr. Sandra Mayo served as the Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence here at Seattle Pacific. Her Last day at SPU is May 8th, 2022. (Courtesy of Seattle Pacific University)

On April 22, an email from Interim President Menjares announced that Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence, Dr. Sandra Mayo, is resigning. Her last day will be May 18.

“It’s been an honor to serve at Seattle Pacific,” Mayo said in a statement to the Falcon, “I hope the foundation we helped build together will provide an opportunity for SPU to pursue greater understanding and empathy across differences.”

Madisynn McCombs Encinas, executive assistant to Mayo, says that her resignation is quite a loss to the SPU community.

“Working with Dr. Mayo has been a huge blessing to me, both personally and professionally, so her departure from SPU is quite a loss, ”McCombs Encinas said. “She has provided wise and purposeful leadership to SPU during her time here, and I hope that we can continue forward in the direction that she has been helping to lead us.”

Mayo’s work includes launching the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as well as a program called the Search Advocate Program, which was created to reduce bias in the hiring process. 

The program is made up of staff and faculty who first receive training, and then sit in on interviews to ensure that the interviewer is giving the applicant a fair shot and looking at things from different views.

Jennifer LaBrie, assistant vice president for university advancement, is a part of the Search Advocate Program and believes that Mayo’s role in the program went deeper than just starting it.

“She was the one who did the planning for all the training,” LaBrie said. “She resourced it – really good resourcing – so it wasn’t just Dr. Mayo telling us what to do.”

LaBrie was sad to hear of Mayo’s resignation and is grateful for the impact that she has had at SPU.

“I have a lot of respect for her,” LaBrie said. “I will miss her as a colleague and I’m very sad to see her go. [The Search Advocate Program] has been a really good, good program to bring to SPU and I’ve enjoyed working with her.”

Both LaBrie and McCombs Encinas hope that the work Mayo started will continue on after her departure.

“The work of diversity, equity, and inclusion can never and should never depend on just one person or even one office, but Dr. Mayo’s distinctive commitment to seeking understanding and unity across differences has left a deep impression on this campus and will surely be missed,” McCombs Encinas said.

Mayo is also hoping that SPU will continue the work that she started to become a more diverse and inclusive place.

“I am praying for the continued work of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and for each member of the SPU community who will contribute to this good and important work on campus,” Mayo said.

Update: Date of Sandra Mayo’s last day changed to May 18 from May 8 due to previous error.