Finalists Chosen for Institutional Diversity Post at UGA

ATHENS, Ga. – The search for an associate provost for institutional diversity at the University of Georgia has been narrowed to five finalists. The finalists were identified in a national search by a committee of faculty, staff and students chaired by Arthur Dunning, vice president for public search and outreach. These candidates are:

* Maurice C. Daniels, professor and director of the master of social work program in UGA’s School of Social Work

* Paulette P. Dilworth, a faculty member in the Indiana University School of Education

* Frank E. Dobson Jr., director of the minority affairs office/black cultural center at Wright State University

* Keith D. Parker, undergraduate research coordinator in the sociology department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

* Michael R. Stevenson, director of the Diversity Policy Institute at Ball State University

Each candidate will visit campus in the coming weeks to meet with students, staff and administrators. A schedule for the visits will be announced later.

The new associate provost will succeed Rodney Bennett, UGA’s dean of students, who has held the job on an interim basis since last October.

“The Office of Institutional Diversity has gained a great deal of momentum over the past six months under Dr. Bennett’s leadership,” said Arnett Mace, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “I appreciate his commitment to stewarding UGA’s diversity efforts during this transitional period.”

“I am grateful to Dr. Dunning for his leadership in chairing the screening committee. The committee has recommended a slate of very capable individuals, anyone of whom can sustain the momentum of the diversity office. I am looking forward to visiting with the candidates to explore their ideas and capability for this vital position.”

The institutional diversity office coordinates efforts to promote equity and diversity at UGA. The office’s activities include finding ways to evaluate and improve existing and new diversity programs; ensuring that UGA’s curricula is sensitive to the needs of all students; helping familiarize minority middle and high school students with opportunities for study at UGA; and implementing strategies for recruitment and retention of minority students, faculty and staff.

Daniels, who has been on UGA’s social work faculty since 1979, has conducted extensive research and is widely published in such areas as civil rights, social justice and education for minority students. He was instrumental in creating the Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies, a history of the civil rights movement in Georgia, and has written a biography and produced a video about Horace Ward, who attempted to integrate UGA’s law school in the 1950s. For almost 10 years he directed the Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship Program, which brought more than $1 million in grants to the social work school.

Dilworth worked at Emory University as director of minority affairs and assistant director of equal opportunity programs before going to Indiana University. She also worked at Florida A&M University where she was involved in student recruitment. Her areas of research include affirmative action and multicultural education. She has been certified by the American Association for Affirmative Action Training Institute as an affirmative action professional and a mediator in dispute resolution and discriminatory and sexual harassment.

Dobson is a poet and fiction writer whose academic interests include African-American and women’s studies and African-American literature. He has directed Wright State’s Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center since 2001, and also headed the center from 1984-1990. He is author of a novel, “The Race is Not Given,” and his poems and short fiction works have been published in Pacific Poetry, Shooting Star Review and several anthologies. He has taught at Indiana University at Indianapolis and headed the equal opportunity program at Shippensburg University.

Parker has been director of the University of Nebraska’s African-American and African Studies Program and was special assistant for minority affairs to the dean of graduate studies. He has also been assistant and associate dean of graduate studies. His duties now include coordinating a collaborative program with three other universities to encourage underrepresented students to pursue careers in science and engineering. He has published numerous articles in such areas as race and ethnic relations, criminology and rural sociology.

Stevenson wrote the proposal that created Ball State’s Diversity Policy Institute and has headed the unit since 1997. A faculty member in the psychology department since 1984, he is a specialist in the areas of women’s and men’s studies, child development and human sexuality. He received an American Council of Education Fellowship to work for a year in the office of the chancellor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and he was a senior congressional fellow in the office of U.S. Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois.