Dean of multicultural affairs position continues in full capacity

Cuong D. Nguyen

The Office of Multicultural Affairs encourages diversity through lectures, musical events and various programs, all coordinated by the assistant dean of students for multicultural affairs. After student fears that the position would be staffed only as a part-time position or eliminated altogether, Dean of Students Nancy Truesdell confirmed that the position will be staffed to full capacity next year.
Recently, there were growing concerns among some students as well as faculty members that the administration would eliminate the position completely in order to save money.
The misinterpretation that the position would not be filled next year was precipitated by current Acting Assistant Dean of Students for Multicultural Affairs Mohammed Bey confirming that his stay at Lawrence is only temporary.
According to Truesdell, the reason Mohammed Bay is only a temporary fill for the position is that it was too late last year for the administration to fill the position with full-time personnel.
The procedures for filling a position require a national search for potential applicants; however, at the end of last school year, it was not possible for the administration to make a survey for applicants. Hence, Bay was appointed to fill the position as acting assistant dean of students for multicultural affairs.
As a result of the misconception about the position going unfilled, sophomore Isake Smith sent a letter to The Lawrentian March 6 voicing her concerns. Truesdell sent e-mails to students to clear up the misunderstandings.
There never was any proposal of completely eliminating the assistant dean of position. Due to the economic crisis that started last fall, there has been a plan to staff the office differently from the previous years, but not to eliminate it.
“We thought that we would be able to fill the position in a different way, using a number of part-time people,” Truesdell said.
Due to student and faculty concerns, Truesdell also engaged in a meeting with President Jill Beck’s cabinet on issues related to the position. Because of the importance of the position to campus life, the cabinet decided that Lawrence would staff the position full-time like in the past year.
“Students, faculty, and staff expressed their concern, and [we] felt it was most appropriate that we have a full time position in that role,” said Truesdell. Monday, April 27, Truesdell started a national search for potential candidates.
Lawrence will maintain the tenure of faculty members, and will staff other positions in ways that will allow the college to save costs.