A 12-person committee was selected to help determine the right candidate for the open position of Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
The committee consists of Aleira Martin, Beatriz Walker, Briarston Ashford, Darius Davis, Gloria Atkinson, John Boyles, Scott McDowell, Shekinah Kahongo, Stephanie Hamm, Steven Moore, Tryce Prince and Tsion Amare.
Dr. Scott McDowell, vice president of student life, said he worked with Stephanie Hamm, chief diversity officer and assistant professor of social work, and collaborated on the decision of who should be on the committee.
“In any situation, you want to find someone that’s competent in their field and that would also be a fit with the community,” McDowell said. “So that’s why you put a committee like this together, that represents a broad cross section of the campus community and people that know this place well, and it’s a really tremendous group of people. You’ve got a lot of folks in the room helping make the decision who have a real sense of what ACU is and what ACU aspires to be.”
The job description for the hiring of a new Director of OMA was completed and published online about six weeks ago and the hiring committee has already received about 30 applications. McDowell said there was significant and national interest in the position.
“We pulled [the hiring committee] together and they agreed to walk with me through the process,” McDowell said. “So we went through the list of candidates.”
After narrowing down to about 20 candidates, in terms of application completion, the committee reviewed the applications. Tryce Prince, executive assistant for the Carl Spain Center, created a voting system for the committee to narrow down the candidates they believed should get an interview.
“That narrowed it down pretty clearly,” McDowell said. “There were four or five that everybody said should get an interview.”
Last week, the candidates remaining were called for phone interviews. The next step in the hiring process is the on-campus interview. The on-campus interview process will require student-conducted interviews, faculty-staff conducted interviews, a presentation of their vision for OMA and a meeting with the leadership team.
Aleira Martin, senior advertising and public relations major from Fort Worth, said she is looking forward to seeing the office grow.
“Some things that I’ve been looking for is someone who can relate to the students and understand people from different backgrounds in order to relate and empathize with that,” Martin said. “And someone who is able to relate to administration as well. Because a lot of it has to do with helping students, but also getting administration to understand the students as well.”
“It’s a very serious vetting process,” McDowell said.
McDowell said he plans to bring candidates to campus following Christmas break, at the beginning of the spring semester.
“We don’t want to rush the process but we want to get the person here as quickly as we can,” McDowell said.
McDowell said the committee is looking to hire someone that has a vibrant faith, connects well with students and has the knowledge and experience to be able to execute programming and manage budgets.
“We’re obviously looking for someone that’s a mission fit,” McDowell said. “This is a Christ-centered university and one of the questions we asked every candidate is, ‘What part does your faith play in this process?’ and ‘How do you take Christian community seriously and how would you help our students to also experience that?’”
In the meantime, Ryan Bowman, human resources and Title IX investigator at ACU, is serving as Interim Director for the Office of OMA. McDowell said he feels very good about the hiring process.
“One of the things that we’re committed to is trying to find somebody that can put down roots and be in this role for a long time,” McDowell said.