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Office of diversity education postpones decision to name new director

The Central Michigan University Office of Diversity Education has postponed the search for a new director of diversity education.

In an email Saturday, Traci Buckley, interim associate vice president of institutional diversity and executive director for the Center for Inclusion and Diversity, said “(Our office) has decided to postpone the search for the Director of Diversity Education at this time.”

Buckley said the office of diversity education will advertise the position at a later date in 2013.

The director of diversity education will help create an “accepting atmosphere for diversity at the university by educating faculty and students and assist in fulfilling the diversity goals of CMU,” according to the job description.

Earlier this year, David Smith, Theodore Ransaw and Velecia Humes were named the three finalists to be considered for the position.

In early October, the  finalists held open forums to discuss their platforms as well as ideas for achieving their goals and answering questions.

“I would use short-term programs, like workshops and seminars (for educating faculty and students). I would also use long-term programs where I can engage with students on a daily, weekly, monthly and semester-long basis,” Smith said during his October forum.

If hired, Smith would strive to increase the amount of opportunities for students at CMU to discuss diversity.

“First I want to listen, because (CMU) has some great programs and I’ve seen some of them,” Smith said. “Then, I (want to) tweak them to make them better.”

In Ransaw’s open forum, he said the first step in approaching diversity at the institutional level is to collect data across the university in order to identify gaps and formulate a plan to address those needs.

Some of these issues include addressing assumptions such as ‘white privilege’ and making sure minority students are aware of and have access to all of the resources other students have at their disposal, Ransaw said.

Ransaw is a supporter in the idea of mentorship and suggested the implementation of a logic model, which mentorship would play a huge role in.

“The goal of this model is to make diversity a part of the CMU brand,” he said.

What this would mean for students is the implementation of peer mentorship into freshman orientation.

Ransaw referenced a similar program at Harvard University, which pairs each freshman with a senior during their orientation in order to get them accustomed to campus and connected with the university.

An email to Buckley for further comment was not returned as of Tuesday night.

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