Finalist vies for new position at U

The position as vice president entails overseeing diversity offices.

by Jamie VanGeest

Monday afternoon, amid the clanking of coffee cups, Nancy “Rusty” Barceló spoke about her vision for the role of diversity and multiculturalism in a 21st century research university.

Barceló is a finalist for the new position of the vice president for Access, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, and she spoke as part of a forum in her chance to address the University community.

The new position will be a combination of a few different offices, said Mary Nichols, chairwoman and vice president of the search committee.

Forums were convened for candidates last semester, and forums will be had for any more finalists named. The search for the position is ongoing, she said.

The new post will be responsible for overseeing offices such as the Office for Multicultural and Academic Affairs, including the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence, the Office for University Women and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Programs Office.

Barceló was at the University five years ago as the associate vice president for Multicultural and Academic Affairs. She is now the vice president and vice provost for Minority Affairs and Diversity at the University of Washington.

Michael Moore, communications director and Webmaster for the National Center on Educational Outcomes, was at the forum to find out what the candidate had to offer to the position.

Moore said he was also there to see how Barceló would address GLBT issues at the University.

John Felipe, assistant director of the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action talked to Barceló earlier in the day to ask about issues relevant to his office.

“I want to come to this forum with an open mind,” Felipe said.

Barceló talked about why she wanted to come back to the University after leaving in 2001 and some of the work she has done at the University of Washington.

“I am honored to be considered for vice president for Access, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, but I have a hunch it’s the longest title on campus,” Barceló said during her speech.

At the end of her speech, students and staff members asked about topics such as closing the General College and how she would address diversity issues.

There are many qualities the search committee is looking for in a candidate, committee members said.

“We’re looking for a leader with a clear vision and who can provide leadership,” Nichols said.