President Nellis

Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis

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President M. Duane Nellis announces search committee for Ohio University’s first Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis shared the following message with the campus community earlier today (Feb. 21, 2018).

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

During my inaugural address, I announced the decision, with the strong support of many in our University community, to elevate the Chief Diversity position at Ohio University from Vice Provost to the Vice President level. I made this decision because I believe that our ever-evolving world currently demands a heightened focus on matters such as discrimination and bias. Ohio University has long committed to being an inclusive community where differences are celebrated, but a recent diversity and inclusion audit shows there is still room for improvement. The time has come to do more in this area. We need real leadership so we can realize our true promise of a multicultural community where differences are accepted and celebrated.

I write this morning to share with you the names of the individuals who have agreed to serve on the search committee for Ohio University’s FIRST Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion. This committee includes a broad cross-section of our university and represents the importance I place on this newly elevated position. It is my intention to recruit and select the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion by July 1st. The members of this committee are listed below.

I am very pleased Dr. Jason Pina, the current interim Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Student Affairs, and Dr. Jeremy Webster, Dean of the Ohio University Zanesville campus, have agreed to co-chair this search committee. I want to thank these members of our community in advance for their help with this important endeavor. I also continue to appreciate Dr. Jason Pina, who is serving as Interim Chief Diversity Officer and has helped provide for a smooth transition in leadership.

As the search processes get underway, there will be opportunities for the University community to interact with finalists whom the committee invites to Athens for campus visits. I will be updating you on these developments and I urge you to participate in this important part of the process. In the meantime, please join me in thanking the search committee members and in lending them your support.

Kind Regards,

M. Duane Nellis

Search Committee Members:

  • Dr. Jason Pina, Search Committee Co-Chair, Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Dr. Jeremy Webster, Search Committee Co-Chair, Dean, Ohio University Zanesville
  • Dr. Carey Busch, Acting Dean, University College
  • Dr. Matthew Shaftel, Dean, College of Fine Arts
  • Mr. Cary Cooper, Trustee, Ohio University Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Akil Houston, Associate Professor, African American Studies
  • Mr. Michael Rodriguez, Director of Production Services and Student Development
  • Dr. Julie White, Associate Professor, Political Science
  • Ms. Amal Afyouni, Student Senate Representative
  • Mr. Jacob Jakuszeit, Library Support Associate
  • Ms. Maria Modayil, Graduate Student Senate President
  • Mr. Tyrone Carr, Special Assistant to the Vice Provost Diversity, Access, Equity/Director Interlink Alliance
  • Ms. Laura Whitt, Senior Director, Professional Outreach and Alumni Affairs, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Dr. Monica Burdick, Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Dr. Gerardine Botte, Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research
  • Ms. Laura Myers, Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Ms. Anna Kaye Rowe, Program Assistant, Global Leadership Center
  • Dr. Brianna Becker, Executive Director, Hillel
  • Ms. Megan Vogel, Search Support, Chief of Staff to the Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Ms. Laura Risler, Search Support, Strategic Initiatives and Projects Coordinator, Executive Vice President and Provost