Dr. Ronnie A. Dunn recently assumed the role as the inaugural executive director of The Diversity Institute at Cleveland State University, where he has been an associate professor of Urban Studies since 2004. Prior to assuming this new role, he served as the Interim Chief Diversity Officer at Cleveland State from July 2018 through October 2021. As the CDO, he was the senior advisor to the president on issues of diversity, inclusion, and equitable policies, practices, and institutional planning to support the University’s values, vision, mission, and strategic priorities. As the director of The Diversity Institute he is responsible for overseeing research, training, policy development and advocacy relative to issues of diversity, inclusion, and racial and social justice within the university and the broader community. The Diversity Institute also includes the Diversity Leadership and Change Management Program, which evolved from the first master’s degree program in diversity management in the U.S. when established in 1998.
Dr. Dunn is an urban sociologist and criminal justice scholar, who has taught criminology and public safety and justice management at the University of Akron and Cleveland State University, respectively. His research and scholarship have had considerable public policy implications in the areas of policing, community-police relations, and public safety. This includes the use of traffic cameras in the City of Cleveland and jurisdictions across the state of Ohio, the first comprehensive study of Cleveland’s Citizen Police Review Board, which led to the transition to an all- civilian (non-sworn officers) investigative staff, and former Governor John Kasich’s establishment of a statewide taskforce on policing and the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board, both of which he was appointed to. He also is a member of the Police Monitoring Team overseeing the Cleveland Police Department’s compliance with the federal consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Dr. Dunn is a nationally recognized, frequently sought-after media commentator on issues of race, policing, and criminal justice and has been interviewed and quoted in over 100 local, national, and international media outlets, including PBS New Hour, MSNBC, CNN, The New York and L.A. Times, The Sunday London Times, and the BBC. He is also the past chairman of the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP’s Criminal Justice Committee and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners. He is a native Clevelander, an Air Force veteran and the father of an adult son.