Student Affairs looks for new Vice Pres.

By Gerold Shelton

Candidates for a new Student Affairs position will look for NIU to lend them an ear today as they begin pitching themselves to the campus.

Beginning today at 1 p.m. in Altgeld Hall, Room 315, three candidates for the assistant vice president for diversity and equity will present what they plan to bring to NIU.

The search committee will consider the candidates’ presentations, called “A Vision for Diversity: Creating Community Dialogue,” to make a hiring recommendation to Brian Hemphill,vice president for Student Affairs.

James Brunson III is the only candidate with NIU experience. Brunson, assistant director of residential life, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from NIU in 1977 and 1980, respectively. He is classified as “ABD” – all but dissertation – in receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His résumé says he will earn the degree in June with the dissertation, “The Moor’s Last Sigh: American Orientalism and the Black Body, 1816-1893.”

Ana Vazquez, director for multicultural affairs at DePaul University, Chicago, earned her Ph.D. in higher education from Chicago’s Loyola University in April 2004. Her dissertation was titled: “Latino/a College Students: Their Experiences on Campus.”

Tamra Minor is the director of organizational development for the Columbus, Ohio public school district. Before that, she was the director of research, assessment and evaluation for the Ohio State University Office of Academic Affairs (Minority Affairs). She earned a Ph.D. in consumer/family economics at OSU in 1992 with her dissertation, “An Investigation of Factors That Affect Wage Rates of Young Black and Young White Men.”

After the search committee interviews each candidate, it will make a recommendation to Hemphill, who will make the final decision on who will fill the new position.

The desired start date for the candidate is July 1, said Linda Herrmann, chair of the search committee.

The position of assistant vice president for diversity and equity was created in December as part of the Student Affairs reorganization. Whoever gets the job will oversee five resource centers: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, Latino Resource Center, Asian American Center, Center for Access-Ability Resources and Women’s Resource Center.

“The [assistant] vice president’s primary role will be providing leadership and overseeing our diversity initiative,” Herrmann said.

Each candidate will be on campus two days and will: tour and meet with the directors of the five resource centers, meet leaders of student organizations, have meals with Hemphill, Herrmann and the search committee members and meet with representatives of various presidential commissions.

Candidates also will meet with LaVerne Gyant, director of the Center for Black Studies.

Although the center is not a part of Student Affairs, collaboration with the center is expected, Herrmann said.