Michigan Tech Realigns Student Affairs to Support Diversity Initiatives

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Michigan Tech is realigning programs and support services for a broad range of students to create an outreach and multicultural affairs center. The center will focus on diversity, providing services for all students, including ethnic minorities, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

Some programs in Michigan Tech's Educational Opportunity Office will be incorporated into the new center, which will report to Student Life, part of the Division of Student Affairs. Shalini Suryanarayana, who has headed the Educational Opportunity programs, will be the new center's director.

Other Educational Opportunity programs will move to different sections of Student Affairs or other University departments. Summer Youth and other K-12 outreach programs will become part of Enrollment Services. Teacher training and conference services will become part of the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences in the College of Sciences and Arts. ExSEL (Excelling in Science and Engineering Learning) will operate under the COMPASS program (Center for Orientation, Mentoring, Parents, and Academic Student Success) as part of Student Life.

"Realigning academic support services under Student Life and student recruitment efforts under Enrollment Services makes good sense," said Les Cook, vice president for student affairs. "The new structure will enable us to expand our diversity efforts, to align similar functions and to create new synergies without duplicating efforts. It promises exciting new opportunities for supporting our multicultural students and ensuring their success."

Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz said, "The realignment and center are congruent with our Diversity Framework. It is critical that we promote the simple notion that we and our students are best served by a climate that celebrates the diversity of people and thought. It's critical for individuals, our University and our country. The time is now to meld many of the core activities of Educational Opportunity into Student Affairs, so that we can focus our resources--talent and money--on building a student population that reflects the diversity of our country and the world."

In conjunction with the restructuring, Cook announced several other appointments and staffing changes. Theresa Jacques, who has been serving as interim registrar, will become registrar. Bill Roberts will become director of financial aid and Tim Malette will become budget analyst for Student Affairs and senior accounts manager for financial aid. Susan Liebau will remain director of ExSEL and will become associate director of COMPASS. Kerri Sleeman will continue as director of COMPASS and assume additional responsibilities as associate director of housing facilities. Jared Johnson will become director of student activities.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.