Currently, the Opportunity Center and the Office of Multicultural Affairs do not have directors, but committees are in the process of interviewing potential candidates.
John Howe, the chair for the search for the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, said the office is for the entire campus, focusing largely on students and will be in the student-centered space in MUC 219.
“It will be kind of that gateway position that will help many of our underrepresented student groups kind of make sure that they have established footing in their programming and development. But we’ll also work with other campus partners for broader programs on the campus as well,” Howe said.
Chief of Staff Laura McNaughton said the Opportunity Center will be a space for students to find what they need to be successful. This will help students find tutors and student groups to join. McNaughton said it will be a one-stop shop for all the student services available. She also said the director of the Opportunity Center will be someone who connects with students and connects them with the campus community.
“This person will also help with career service development and leadership development. It’s a job where it’s just going to be a lot of connecting all people across campus,” McNaughton said.
McNaughton said finalists will be brought to campus and there will be open sessions for students to participate in. She said these jobs are integral to student success and that is why students should have input in the hiring process.
“We need students to find what helps them be successful while they’re here. And these jobs are people that can connect them with other students like themselves, with groups that they’re interested in and just make it a more welcoming place for them while they’re here,” McNaughton said.
The committees to hire both directors have students involved, Howe said. Both processes include forums where students can participate and ask questions of the candidates.
“Part of that process will be an activity that we want them to lead because the Office of Multicultural Affairs is a co-curricular unit. It’s encouraging learning outside of the classroom. So, part of their visit is to have an activity that’s engaging the students that are in that session and that will follow with a Q&A period for students to ask questions of the candidate,” Howe said.
Howe said the process has been deliberate because they did not want just anybody to be that person in the position. He said they wanted the right person to fill these positions.
“We’re working with a speed that’s deliberate, but also cautious and careful so that we’re looking for the right candidate to come into both of these roles. That’s really going to be the best person to really move both offices forward, because there is work to do in both areas and they’re going to be on board to do it,” Howe said.
Finalists will be brought to campus by the end of March and both positions will be filled by the end of the semester. Students can find more information about the positions at yourfuture.sdbor.edu. President Gestring’s office did not respond to multiple email requests for an interview.