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University News

TWC searches for new director

Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Third World Center has begun its search for a new director, following a semester under the interim leadership of Associate Protestant University Chaplain Reverend William Mathis.

The position of TWC director opened last summer following the unexpected year-long departure of Dean Karen McLaurin ’74.

Candidates will come to campus this spring for a “broad and comprehensive set of interviews,” said Senior Director for Student Engagement Ricky Gresh, who serves on the search committee composed of faculty, students and alumni. The committee plans to announce the new director by mid-April, with a target start date of July 1, according to the TWC’s website.

The TWC is an institution that aims to represent minorities by supporting cultural groups and sponsoring events such as the Third World Transition Program for incoming freshmen.

“The new person chosen for this role will need to be both an effective academic adviser and an effective mentor for a diverse population of Brown students,” Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. “The director of the Third World Center has always formed an important link between the Division of Campus Life and the College.”

The new director will have to “speak broadly about the value of diversity,” Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn said.

Bergeron wrote that the new director will “also form natural connections to many diversity officers on campus­ — not only in the College but also in the Graduate School, the Provost’s office, the Office of Human Resources and many other places as well.”

The committee is responsible for identifying candidates for the position and ultimately recommending candidates to Klawunn and Bergeron, Gresh said. In addition to three students on the search committee, Gresh said an additional advisory board comprised of students involved with the TWC and collaborating organizations will weigh in.

Gresh said the student groups elected their own representatives, noting that the search process will run while students and faculty are on campus.

Lorena Garcia ’12 first heard about the search when the TWC sent an e-mail to student groups. Garcia joined the student advisory board and became one of the three students serving on the Search committee. She said she is unsure how often the board will meet.

Klawunn said she does not expect Dean McLaurin to reapply for the position.

“As for Rev. Mathis, he is already a beloved member of our community, and has been a wonderful interim director of the Third World Center this year,” Bergeron wrote. “We are so fortunate to have his leadership.”

“It’s absolutely critical to keep in mind the TWC is a vital and important program on campus,” Gresh said. “We’re absolutely committed to get the right person.”

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