The Office of the President of the University of St. Thomas announced that it is inviting applications for a temporary, one-third-time position of “interim director of diversity.”

The position is available to current St. Thomas employees only. Applicants who are staff members would need approval from their supervisors to shift one-third of their responsibilities to the university’s Office of Institutional Diversity. Faculty applicants would need approval for a one-course release, per semester, from teaching duties.

“With the July resignation of St. Thomas’ founding executive director of institutional diversity, Dr. Lawrence Potter, the university is re-examining the role and functions of the position to best use limited resources to increase diversity and enhance the inclusiveness of its institutional climate,” explained Dr. Susan Alexander, executive adviser to the president and the university’s affirmative-action officer.

“As with other high-level vacancies at this time, a permanent replacement is not a foregone conclusion,” she said. “In the meantime, however, the university does not want to lose momentum on diversity activities. The temporary appointment will give focus and impetus to ongoing and new diversity initiatives as consideration continues.”

Responsibilities of the interim director of diversity will include:

  • Coordinating diversity actions at the university.
  • Fostering climate improvement for underserved populations.
  • Working with external constituencies.
  • Leading the University Diversity Action Committee.
  • Serving on the Affirmative Action Committee.
  • Proposing activities and assessing needs across the organization.

It is anticipated that the new interim director of diversity will begin duties at the start of spring semester on Monday, Jan. 31, 2011.

For a detailed job profile and directions on how to apply, go to the Employment Opportunities page on the Human Resources Web site and click on “Staff-Internal.” It is position No. 330049. The application deadline is Dec. 1.

Update on diversity activities

The reallocation of Dr. Lawrence Potter’s duties began when he accepted a one-year ACE fellowship at DePaul University in September 2009.  The reallocation was expanded this year with the appointment of Dr. David Steele, director of the Faculty Grants and Research Office, as principal investigator and director of the McNair Scholars Program. Cynthia Fraction continues in her role as the program’s assistant director.

Responsibility for campus-climate surveys, which are conducted once every five years, has returned to the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, directed by Dr. Michael Cogan.

A team headed by Meghan Allen Eliason, director of the Center for Intercultural Learning and Community Engagement, will oversee diversity-related programming under the umbrella of the CommUNITY Series.

Alexander and Pat Sirek, assistant to the president, are collecting information about efforts to foster diversity and enhance the campus climate from academic and administrative units at St. Thomas. They are preparing a report that will be posted soon on the Office of Institutional Diversity Web site.