Dr. LaVar J. Charleston – Black Men in Educational Leadership

April 29, 2021

Dr. LaVar J. Charleston, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. LaVar J. Charleston, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, has compiled an impressive resume for someone who only recently celebrated his 40th birthday.

In February 2019, the Wisconsin Alumni Association presented Charleston with a 2019 Forward Under 40 Award, which honors UW–Madison alumni under the age of 40 who are living the Wisconsin Idea, leveraging the benefits of their education to better their cities, states, nation, and even the world. Dr. Charleston was recognized for making waves of change, with colleges and universities at home and abroad looking to him for his voice and award-winning scholarship exploring how more students can access higher education.

Four months later, Dr. Charleston accepted a call back to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to serve on the dean’s leadership team in a new position as Associate Dean of the new School of Education Office of Diversity and Inclusion at UW-Madison.

Dr. Charleston served as assistant vice chancellor of student diversity, engagement and success at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater from 2017-2019. Prior to that he helped launch Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) which promotes equitable environments for learning and working in higher education. The Wei LAB is located on the campus of UW-Madison.

Dr. Charleston earned an undergraduate degree in public relations from Ball State University. He also played varsity football for three years for the Cardinals and used his experience to develop “Beyond the Game,” a curriculum which helps student-athletes plan for careers beyond professional sports. Dr. Charleston received a master’s degree in 2007 and Ph.D. in 2010 from UW-Madison. He is an expert in the kinds of support students need to stay enrolled and succeed in college and how to prepare them for graduate school.