Chief Diversity Officer search committee hosts forums to introduce candidates

Emily Craig, Assistant News Editor

As the Multicultural Center launches forward with its program celebrating the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Black History Month, it also participates in continuing the search for a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO).

The need for a CDO was proposed five years ago by the college and last semester the search officially began. Partnering with R.H. Perry & Associates, the search committee for the CDO includes: Dr. Maria McKenna – Committee Chair, Dr. Harry Dumay, Aliesha Grandison ’17, Dr. Karlea Joiner, Dr. Jonathan Lupo, Marilu McCambly, Fr. Benet Phillips, and Donald Stokes ’17, recent recipient of the college’s Social Justice Award.

The search committee’s summary of the opportunity for the CDO reads as such:

“Saint Anselm College seeks a highly motivated strategic thinker and a strong leader as its very first Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). The CDO will be dedicated to the mission of a liberal arts college and excited about Saint Anselm’s commitment to academic excellence fostered through its distinctive undergraduate education and promoted through outstanding teaching, research and service.”

Crier\Tim Mannila
R.H. Perry representatives Dorothy Poole and Matthew Kilcoyne meet with students.

The summary also includes that “the CDO reports directly to the President and serves on the President’s Cabinet. She or he will have a broad vision for the role of diversity in achieving institutional excellence and a strong track record in managing change and in building and supporting initiatives that promote diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. The CDO will provide leadership and coordination to a range of diversity efforts on campus…”

The two candidates to be considered for the position – Dr. Juliana Mosley and Dr. Ande Diaz – visited campus two weeks ago. President Dr. Steven DiSalvo met with the candidates for dinner. Later that week, Dr. Mosley and Dr. Diaz met with faculty and students at specialized forums for each group on Feb. 19 and Feb. 21, respectively.

Included in the campus-wide email sent announcing the arrival of the CDO candidates was Dr. Juliana Mosley’s cover letter and resume, which gave students and faculty an insight to her thoughts on the position.

In her cover letter, Dr. Mosley said, “I am excited by the breath of responsibilities the CDO position offers and the opportunity to return to diversity work fulltime, having served as the Director of Multicultural Affairs at John Carroll University (Catholic Jesuit) and [as] a diversity consultant.”

When Dr. Ande Diaz met with students, including The Crier, in the Multicultural Center, Donald Stokes ’17 gave her a quick introduction and then handed her the spotlight to explain her thoughts on the role she would have as the CDO.

Throughout the discussion, Dr. Diaz shed light on some of the positions she has held at previous institutions and how they suited her passion as an “organizational change agent”. Three years ago, she took a job at Allegheny College as an Associate Provost for Diversity and Organizational Development. Dr. Diaz said that working at an institutional level is very important to her, which compelled her to take the job, which had the same function as a CDO function would.

“I love the work,” Dr. Diaz said. “I can get up every morning and I know why I get up every morning. I’m just never bored. I feel like it matters.”

During the forum, Kyrel Jaundoo, a senior Sociology major, asked, “What exactly would be different in you attending SAC as the CDO, how would you keep a cohesive flow between the administration and students? How would you fit into that role?”

Dr. Diaz responded, “The part about Saint A’s that’s interesting… is the intimacy of it and I love that about this school. It feels familiar to me.” She also said that the civic engagement foundation that the college is nationally known for is another aspect that drew her to the community.

In an interview with The Crier, Wayne Currie, M.S., Director of the Multicultural Center, said that he was excited about the possibilities of what the CDO will bring to the table for the college.

“The main focus [of the CDO],” Currie said, “is looking at the curriculum and seeing how integrated it is in terms of other races.”

Once selected, the CDO will adopt a significant role in making the curriculum, as well as our campus community, as diverse as possible. There is, however, a great challenge to this process due to the location of the college, a factor that Currie mentioned in his interview.

Last semester, the R.H. Perry consultants said that the committee planned for the CDO to begin on July 1, 2017. Currie said this date is subject to change as it depends on the offer made to the CDO candidate chosen and their availability.