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Northeast Ohio Medical University Appoints Burton to Vice President

Northeast Ohio Medical University announced the appointment of Andre Burton, J.D., to the position of vice president for human resources and diversity, effective March 1, 2019.

Burton had been acting as interim vice president since October 2018. The position became available with the departure of Carolyn Lanier, who held the dual role of chief of staff and vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. Burton was immediately engaged in his interim role as he led the University’s institutional review of human resources ― a process conducted periodically with all offices ― as well as the implementation of the University’s Voluntary Separation Program (VSP), which was being offered to support a new University strategic plan goal that included the realignment and re-engineering of University operations.

Burton also added more consultative services to the Office of Human Resources; implemented a workforce re-engineering process; and investigated opportunities to streamline processes.

“Mr. Burton effectively advanced the transformation of the human resource office with the support of his team in just five months,” said Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., president of NEOMED. “And he did so while continuing to bring positive change to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”

Prior to his interim role, Burton served as the executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion. His many contributions include the implementation of educational and professional development opportunities targeted toward improving campus community, inclusion and cultural competence. He instituted and facilitated training in diversity awareness, cross-cultural communication, and Safe Space (LGBT) training. He also oversees the University’s Title IX Office and the Office of Global Engagement.

Burton’s career at NEOMED began in August 2012, where he started as director of diversity affairs. He developed and implemented action steps for the University’s Diversity Strategic Plan which resulted in demonstrable positive outcomes. Mr. Burton was promoted to executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion in October 2014.

Before joining NEOMED, Burton was recognized for his organizational effectiveness, bringing novel approaches to both public higher education and the state of Ohio (Ohio Lottery Commission). As a district director for diversity and inclusion, and human resources at Cuyahoga Community College, he oversaw, implemented, and administered an award-winning faculty and staff diversity recruitment strategy. Among his many roles, he served as the College’s chief administrator and spokesperson for diversity, inclusion and the compliance office for EEO/ADA.

At the Ohio Lottery, Burton served as a deputy director for the state for nearly 10 years. As director, human resources and labor relations/EEO, his responsibilities included guiding and directing the overall provisions of human resources services, policies and programs. His development of an employee handbook; leadership of core performance management and feedback processes; oversight of the multimillion-dollar Supplier Diversity Program; and proven effectiveness as hearing officer, grievance officer and arbitration representative, led to his promotion as director, equal employment opportunity and contract compliance.

“He has an established reputation for recognizing diversity and the development of people as soft assets ― with a return on investment that is just as valuable as hard assets and pivotal to an organization’s success and sustainability,” added Dr. Gershen.

Burton received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University and his Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice (pre-law) at Kent State University.


For more than 40 years, Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) has worked in collaboration with its educational, clinical and research partners to successfully train health professionals and medical researchers who serve and impact the region and beyond. The University trains students in a team-based, interprofessional environment and offers Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degrees, in addition to master’s and doctoral degrees and research opportunities in other medical areas.