3/4/2012: Best of luck to Ms Alex-Assensoh, who was hired by CAS Dean Scott Coltrane and VP Robin Holmes after an open, reasonably transparent national search, and who has excellent credentials (PhD, law degree, research) and relevant experience at IU. I didn’t go to the interviews but on paper I though she looked like the best candidate. Let’s call her the VP for Equity for short. From the new VPEI website:
Yvette Marie Alex-Assensoh, a political scientist and attorney who has served on the Indiana University faculty for the past 18 years and as dean for women’s affairs since 2008, has been named vice president for equity and inclusion at the University of Oregon. She will begin work at the UO in August.
The diversity position was originally created because former UO administrator Joe Wade sued Provost John Moseley for employment discrimination, and then insisted in the settlement that UO make some policy changes to encourage open searches, and transparent hiring processes. Good for Mr. Wade! Unfortunately UO is still a long way from doing the right thing when it comes to administrative hiring.
The office got off to a troubled start, then suffered through 5 years of mismanagement by Charles Martinez, who ironically was appointed by Frohnmayer and Moseley without any search at all, and then allowed to double-dip at an off campus job. Two years ago most of the relevant faculty and staff broke out in rebellion against Martinez, so Bean and Tomlin created a tenured position for Martinez in the Ed School, then President Lariviere dumped him as VP and sent him back to teaching.
Robin Holmes has already made some much needed changes in the office as interim head. Here’s hoping this office is now off on a good track and that the new VP will undertake a thorough review of some of its more questionable programs, such as the UMRP, and move resources to fill-the-pipeline efforts that work and are legal, such as the OYSP. The fact that Ms Alex-Assensoh has a law degree seems like a good sign. Maybe she will even abandon the 5 year “diversity action plans” window-dressing effort.
Her application materials are here. This clip from her application letter looks very encouraging. “legally proper”, “best students”, and “just as likely to complete the program and find good jobs”:
Nice contrast to the inane “diversity *is* excellence” mantra that Martinez and Linda Brady used to spout.