Correction appended.

Ohio University President Duane Nellis announced the first vice president for diversity and inclusion on Tuesday. Dr. Gigi Secuban will begin the position on June 18. 

Secuban is the associate vice chancellor and director of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In that role, she oversaw eight multicultural centers and programs. 

“She clearly shares the values of our institution and I am looking forward to having her join our Bobcat Family,” Nellis said in a news release. 

Secuban has more than 20 years of experience in administrative work. 

She was previously the senior associate director at the University of Arkansas' College of Engineering. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, master’s degree in health science and a doctorate in higher education administration, all from the University of Arkansas.

“I look forward to working with the Diversity and Inclusion team to build on the great foundations they’ve put in place to help all students, staff and faculty excel,” Secuban said in a news release. 

She aims to elevate OU’s national reputation as a leader and innovator around issues of diversity and inclusivity in higher education.

During her visit to OU, Secuban talked about allyship, diversifying recruitment and creating inclusive spaces on campus, according to a previous Post report. She also discussed the balance between diversity and inclusion as well as the business aspects of a top administrative position. 

“You truly cannot make transformational change without the infrastructure,” Secuban said at an open forum in April.

Secuban’s experience includes a history of collaboration with academic affairs in developing recruitment and retention programs, Nellis wrote in a news release. 

During the open forum, Secuban said it’s important for her to meet with the vice president for recruitment and examine the campus climate surveys in order to better recruit students.

She also emphasized the importance for OU to help multicultural students incorporate themselves into the culture of Athens. 

“Gigi has a passion for working with students at the foundation of her work,” Nellis said. “She enjoys supporting the academic and personal development of students as well as promoting diversity and inclusion efforts on campus and the community.”

According to Secuban’s contract with OU, her responsibilities include serving as the chief diversity officer for all OU campuses, direct the diversity and inclusion programs and centers, advance the campus climate and collaborate with academic deans about the diversity plan and vision.

Secuban will earn $190,000 annually in the position.

@sarahmpenix

sp936115@ohio.edu

Correction: A previous version of this report misspelled the name of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.

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