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LGBTA Center director steps down after 12-year career at Ohio

As Ohio University braces itself for the quarters-to-semesters switch, those involved with the LGBTA Center will experience more changes than new class start times.

After 12 years, Mickey Hart, head of the Ohio University LGBTA Center, officially left his position Aug. 17.

Hart, a double alumnus of OU, made the decision to leave his position after receiving a job offer as the director of residence life at the Columbus College of Art and Design.

“While I deeply love OU and Athens, I realized a year or so ago that I eventually would need to live and work in a bigger city,” Hart said in a statement through the LGBTA Center.

While the position does not have a specific LGBT focus, Hart said he is excited because he worked in residence life for seven years and received his BFA in fine arts.

Though Hart will not be directly involved in the search for his replacement, he said that he has suggested several candidates to David Descutner, interim vice provost of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the University College dean.

“I hope the new director possesses a curiosity about OU, because it’s very unique because it’s rural and there aren’t a lot of ways for LGBT people to express themselves,” Hart said. “I also hope they take advantage of getting involved with the groups on campus as well as the region.”

Susanne Dietzel, director of the Women’s Center, will work as the interim director of the center for Fall Semester in addition to leading the search committee for the new director. Descutner said that the committee will also consist of highly involved faculty and staff as well as both undergraduate and graduate students.

“Honestly, I hope the new director possesses the qualities of Mickey Hart,” Descutner said. “Someone who is extremely dedicated within the LGBTA community, someone who will look at blending the academic and student side as well. It will be an attractive position for young educators because the center is so well established.”

Because the new director will not be hired until spring semester, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be more involved for Fall Semester, as well as the new program coordinator, V. Martin, who will also work with the Women’s Center, a graduate assistant Megan Villegas and several returning staffers.

Above all, Hart said he hopes that the students and faculty that he has worked with are affected positively by his time with them.

“I hope that they enjoyed my time here and I think I help educate people about the largest diversity of the world,” said Hart.

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