Brian E. Gittens, Ed.D., M.P.A., Named Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

By Benjamin Waldrum

Gittens succeeds Billy Thomas, M.D., M.P.H., a neonatologist in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, who was named UAMS’ first vice chancellor for diversity in 2011.

“As we continue to serve the health care needs of the state, we must be intentional and inclusive not only in the ways  we provide care for our patients, but in the opportunities we create for faculty, staff and students across all of UAMS,” said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. “Brian has led systemic change in universities across the country, and he brings nearly three decades of experience to UAMS. I also want to thank Billy Thomas for his service as vice chancellor and his leadership and passion in ensuring that UAMS grows as a diverse and inclusive workplace.”

Gittens is a seasoned diversity and human resources professional, researcher, educator and consultant who has successfully led and collaborated on the design and implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies, community engagement programs, and cultural competency initiatives.

“I am humbled and excited to be a part of the great leadership team at UAMS,” Gittens said. “I look forward to collaborating and partnering with the faculty, staff and students of UAMS as well as the community as we strategically advance diversity, equity and inclusion.”

He joins UAMS from the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he led efforts to advance equity and inclusion as the associate dean for human resources, equity and inclusion. Prior to that, Gittens served as director of human resources for internal medicine and director of diversity initiatives at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He has held positions at Wake Forest University, Virginia Tech, Elizabeth City State University, the U.S. Marine Corps, and founded a consulting firm specializing in organizational development.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.