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VP for Diversity and Inclusion Candidates to Visit Campus

Four candidates for the position of Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion will visit the Michigan Tech campus over the next several weeks. Each will be featured in a Zoom meeting.

One of four finalists will be Michigan Technological University’s first vice president for diversity and inclusion. The finalists will interview on campus beginning the week of Aug. 24. They were selected after a nationwide search that began last fall. 

“Search Committee Chair Kellie Raffaelli and the committee have done an admirable job in identifying the four finalists,” said President Richard Koubek. “These individuals have a significant amount of experience in diversity and inclusion issues and I’m confident we will find the right fit for Michigan Tech.”

Discussing Complex Issues

As part of their on-campus interview, each finalist will discuss the complexities and many intersections of campus climate issues experienced by students, faculty and staff, and how they impact the educational experiences of underrepresented groups. The campus community is invited to participate in each finalist’s public presentation via Zoom. Presentations will be approximately 45 minutes followed by a 15-minute Q&A session. All four sessions will be recorded so that they may be viewed at a later time.

The first candidate to visit is Barbara Lundberg, who will be on campus from Monday, Aug. 24, through Wednesday, Aug. 26. Lundberg has more than 20 years of leadership experience in student and academic affairs. The former vice president for academic affairs and institutional effectiveness at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College in Hayward, Wisconsin, Lundberg served as interim college president while a search for the next president was conducted. Lundberg’s Zoom webinar will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Next, Wayne Gersie will visit campus from Monday, Aug. 31, through Wednesday, Sept. 2. Gersie is currently chief diversity officer and director of diversity enhancement, student programs and outreach, at Pennsylvania State University's Applied Research Laboratory. Gersie previously served as director of the Multicultural Engineering Program at Penn State. Gersie’s Zoom webinar will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Roberto Sanabria will visit from Wednesday, Sept. 2, to Friday, Sept. 4. Sanabria is the senior director of human resources and equity at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago. Prior to that, he served as director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at Northwestern University. Sanabria’s Zoom webinar will take place at 3 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 3. 

The last finalist to visit will be Sumita Furlong, who will be on campus Tuesday, Sept. 8, through Thursday, Sept. 10. At present, Furlong is the special assistant to the vice chancellor, student affairs, for diversity, equity, inclusion, strategic planning and initiatives, and external relations at the University of California-Irvine. Furlong previously served as the chief diversity officer at the Great Lakes Colleges Association in Ann Arbor. Furlong’s Zoom webinar is at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Following the visits, the campus community will have an opportunity to provide feedback via a secure online form. 

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 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.

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