University

Search for associate vice president for institutional diversity narrowed to three candidates

After a search that came up short last year, three candidates have been chosen to fill the associate vice president for institutional diversity position at Central Michigan University.

Lee Gill, associate vice president for inclusion and equity at the University of Akron; Marco Baker, senior director for education, operations and initiatives, diversity and multicultural affairs at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill; and Carolyn Dunn, director of ethnic resource centers and director of the American Indian Resource Center at the University of California- Santa Cruz, will be on campus in the coming weeks to participate in open forums to fill the position, which has been vacant since June 2012.

Denise Green, former AVP for institutional diversity, resigned from the position at CMU to take a similar position at Ryerson University in Toronto. After an extensive search last year, the full-time position was offered to Lawrence Burnley, assistant vice president for diversity and intercultural relations at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., who declined due to “family reasons.”  Traci Guinn has been serving as interim ever since.

With not enough time in the academic year to continue a search, it was postponed until this year.

“Once the position was declined, it was too late last year to go back and search again,” said Tim Hall, search committee chairperson and associate dean for the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences. “We believe we have three strong candidates and we believe any one of them could do and are interested in the job. I think we will fill the position this year.”

According to Hall, the search committee will provide a recommendation to Provost Michael Gealt by Feb. 14. Gealt will then review the recommendation and make an offer. Hall anticipates the position will be filled by the end of March.

According to the job description on the position announcement released by CMU, “the AVP is responsible for providing strong, visible leadership to plan and implement diversity efforts at the university.”

“This position has charge of promoting diversity and strengthening diversity on campus, but in the community, as well,” Hall said. “Life here at CMU extends beyond the campus, so they’re interested in helping the community understand how better to encourage and be an inclusive community.”

Hall is unaware how much the search has cost the university, but said it is “fairly inexpensive,” since all committee work has been completed on a voluntary basis and initial interviews were conducted via Skype.

Times and dates for open forums are as followed:

  • Lee Gill, associate vice president for inclusion and equity/chief diversity officer at The University of Akron. Gill’s open forum is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 3, from 2:15 to 3:05 p.m., and the student forum will run from 3:15 to 4 p.m. Both will be in the Bovee University Center Lake St. Clair Room.
  • Marco Barker, senior director for education, operations and initiatives at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Barker’s open forum is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 2:15 to 3:05 p.m., and the student forum runs from 3:15 to 4 p.m. Both will be in the Bovee University Center Lake Superior Room.
  • Carolyn Dunn, managing director of ethnic resource centers and director of the American Indian Resource Center at the University of California-Santa Cruz. Dunn’s open forum is scheduled for 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.Wednesday, Feb. 12, from 1 to 2 p.m., and the student forum is from  Both will be in the Bovee University Center Lake Michigan Room.

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