photo of the ONU Multicultural Center in winter
The Multicultural Center covered by snow looks sad but bright. The center is looking for a new director after the departure of Dr. LaShonda Gurley. (Northern Review photo / Mana Hashimoto)

The Multicultural Development director, Dr. LaShonda Gurley, stepped down after finding a new job last fall. All staff, faculty, and students are supporting each other to keep up with what she had done for multicultural development, students on campus, and international students. The search has begun to find a new director of Multicultural Development.

Dr. Gurley worked at ONU for seven years as a director of Multicultural Development, helping multicultural students if they were to have problems with their classes, professors, and so on. As well as work with the university’s diversity initiatives, along with departments across campus to make sure that students are treated equally and fairly. Gurley also served as a Title IX Coordinator. This was not part of her original job, however, she willingly assisted the Title IX Office as a Title IX Coordinator, which helped ensure there were enough coordinators available for all ONU students. 

Gurley completed her philosophy degree while working for Ohio Northern and embarking on a new chapter in her career with her Ph.D. 

Dianne Ricks, who is the Advanced Administrative Assistant of the Multicultural Development, who has been at ONU for 12 plus years, and Gurley’s assistant for 7 years, talked about Gurley’s departure. She knew that Gurley would leave sometime, once she finished her Ph.D., but did not know when exactly.

“I wasn’t upset when she left, I was happy for her,” Ricks said. “I knew she would leave because she completed her Ph.D. this past summer. She was working on it even though she was working here. She was committed to finishing it. Then finally she got it finished and her Ph.D. was conferred.

Adriane Thompson Bradshaw is the Vice President of Student Affairs who worked with Gurley for seven years along with Ricks. She was the person who hired Gurley. Student Affairs has many offices including Residence Life, Student Conduct, Student Involvement, Religious Life, Health Center, Counseling Center, Public Safety, and the Multicultural Center.  Bradshaw is in charge of all student affairs and supervises all directors and their respective departments.

“All of the directors of the Student Affairs division have at least a master’s degree. That is one of the requirements. But also someone would be the director of Multicultural Development, we want to have a background, interest, and passion for issues of diversity, and working with students and campus community on those things,” Bradshaw said. 

She had gone over several applications and interviews, and finally found a new director. However, due to COVID-19, the search for a new director has been put on hold.  An offer was made once again but the candidate was unable to accept the position, so the process to figure out who is able to take the position continues. 

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