Douglas Craddock Jr. has been named interim vice president for community engagement by the University of Louisville. Craddock currently serves as chief of staff to the executive vice president and university provost and will continue in that role.
“Dr. Craddock has the experience, talents and, most importantly, the commitment to lead UofL’s efforts in forging effective community partnerships and promoting transformative experiences for our students, faculty and staff through engaged scholarship, outreach and service,” said UofL Interim President Lori Stewart Gonzalez. “He will be a superb leader for our programs addressing community issues across the local, regional and national spectrum.”
In his new role, Craddock will build and expand linkages for the university across multiple efforts within the Office of Community Engagement. He will oversee UofL’s Signature Partnership, the university’s initiative to enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity for residents of west Louisville. By partnering with city and state governments, schools and other organizations, UofL coordinates and enhances existing programs and launches new ones to eliminate disparities that residents experience in social, education, health and economic development areas.
In addition, Craddock and the Community Relations team will oversee programs including Cards Come Together, the university’s week of service; the university’s TRIO, Upward Bound and Talent Search programs, which are federally funded efforts that identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds; the student philanthropy program; and UofL’s Annual Engaged Scholarship Symposium.
“The university reaches a broad scope of people and organizations through the Office of Community Engagement,” Craddock said. “Our work encompasses a wide variety of programs including working with college students who want to apply their learning to real-world situations; hosting students or groups who are interested in providing community service; and collaborating with faculty to address community issues.
“At its core, community engagement means meeting people at the place where they currently are, finding out where they want to go and applying the strength of the University of Louisville to help them get there.”
Craddock has served as the provost office’s chief of staff since 2021. From 2020 to 2021, he was chief of staff in UofL’s College of Education and Human Development, where he has served as a faculty member since 2017. He also has faculty and administrative experience at the University of Alabama, where he earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
With other faculty at UofL, Craddock founded the Black Male EDquity Network (B.M.E.N.), a grassroots effort focused on creating a pipeline of Black male educators in multiple disciplines. The effort links Black male students from across disciplines and universities so they have peers to bond with while completing their graduate degrees. Many times, there are few or even just one student of color enrolled in a department’s doctoral degree program.
“As many of these individuals are the ‘only ones,’ it is vital to have a support system to ensure their program of study completion,” Craddock said. “At its core, B.M.E.N. centers on building a linkage of brothers from all levels that can positively impact areas of job hiring, research and publications, teaching and general support that can only be found within the confines of this group.”