New VP applicants interview on campus

Sivagami Subbaraman, a candidate for the associate vice president for diversity and inclusion, visited campus on Monday. Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

The first candidate for the new associate vice president for diversity and inclusion position visited the UND campus Monday.

The associate vice president for diversity and inclusion is a new position being created at UND. The individual picked for the position will oversee diversity programs on campus including the Women’s Center, American Indian Student Services, LGBTQ services, the International Center and Multicultural Student Services. The new position will report to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Candidate Sivagami Subbaraman is currently the Director of the LGBTQ Resource Center at Georgetown University. During Subbaraman’s visit to campus, she was part of two forums open to faculty, staff and students. During the forums, Subbaraman outlined her thoughts on what diversity is, how she deals with diversity in her current position and part of her life story.

“We think if we assemble a group of diverse people, that is diversity,” Subbaraman said. “To me, diversity is three things: knowledge, site of work and institutional mission and value.”

At the end of the forum, participants were given a chance to ask questions and give comments. Subbaraman was asked by one person how she would implement her work and philosophies at UND.

“I don’t know right now,” Subbaraman said. “I would have to do a case study and look at the university closer.”

The university is looking for a person who will, “lead the university’s efforts in the development and implementation of a strategic vision and operational plan for advancing diversity and inclusion. The position will serve as a resource and catalyst to assess, plan, develop and collaborate with UND community members regarding various diversity and inclusion related programs and initiatives,” according to a feedback form handed out during the forums.

The second candidate for the position visited campus on Feb. 27 and also participated in forums open to the campus. The final two candidates for the position are expected to visit campus in March.

Megan Hoffman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].