LAWRENCE — The first of three finalists for director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of Kansas will make a public presentation Monday, Nov. 30.
Festus Addo-Yobo, director of Black Programs in the division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at New Mexico State University, will address the suggested topic, “Strategic Leadership at KU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs,” at 11 a.m. in the Kansas Room of the Kansas Union.
As director of Black Programs at New Mexico State, Addo-Yobo provides leadership and direction for the strategic planning process to accelerate African-American student achievement. He leads dissemination of information and data related to diversity while educating the campus community on important diversity issues. He collaborates with civic organizations and Albuquerque public school systems, and he serves as a liaison between the office and the associate vice president’s Office for Student Diversity and Outreach. The role also is involved in recruitment and retention of minority and underrepresented students.
Before joining New Mexico State in 2005, Addo-Yobo was director of the African-American Studies Program in the Division of Student Affairs at Metropolitan State University, in St. Paul, Minnesota. In that role, he established the Multicultural Excellence Program for transfer students and worked with the General College in advising and developing curriculum to promote diversity. From 1997 to 2004, he was director of the African-American Learning Resource Center of Student Support Services at University of Minnesota-Duluth. In addition to these roles he has served as a counselor for former gang members, a prevention specialist at a mental health center and an academic counselor at Western Kentucky University.
Addo-Yobo has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of St. Francis, a master’s in education from Western Kentucky University and a doctorate in education management and development from New Mexico State.
Jerry Crawford, associate professor of journalism and chair of the OMA search committee, invites students, faculty and staff to attend all candidate presentations and provide feedback. The university will release information about candidates at least 24 hours before their presentation. Additional candidates are scheduled to appear:
- Candidate 2 presentation: 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, in the Kansas Room of the Kansas Union
- Candidate 3 presentation: 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in the Kansas Room of the Kansas Union.
Presentations of all candidates will be recorded and posted online after the final candidate has appeared on campus. Feedback about candidates can be submitted online and is due at 8 a.m. Dec. 7.
The director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs provides leadership that cultivates an inclusive campus community, empowers underrepresented students and enhances the cultural competency of all students, faculty and staff. The director manages a wide range of multicultural and academic programs that advance the university’s mission in:
- Academic enrichment and programs to increase graduation rates
- Diversity education and social justice
- Outreach and collaborative partnerships (students, faculty, staff, alumni and administrators) to promote the mission of the office.
The director works with the vice provost for diversity & equity to integrate diversity and inclusion strategies, services and resources into KU’s academic and non-academic units by collaborating with campus administrators, faculty and student groups. The director works with Diversity & Equity, the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access (IOA), the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity and Human Resource Management to provide leadership on cross-cultural programs that reduce and eliminate all forms of discrimination among KU community members and promote a healthy KU culture for student success. The center director also works with several offices on campus to assess and address the barriers existing on campus that hinder the academic, psycho-social, career development and ultimately the success of underrepresented students.