BCSC Director Search Update #4

To:                  Students, Friends, and Colleagues
From:              BCSC Director Search Committee
Subject:           BCSC Director Search Update #4
Date:               Friday, June 19th, 2020

Dear Students, Colleagues, and Friends of the BCSC,

We write to you today to provide two important updates on the status of the search for the Director of the Brown Center for Students of Color: one regarding next steps for the search and revised timeline, and the other concerning the Search Committee membership.

The Search Committee met through the spring semester and has continued to meet this summer with the goal of developing an initial draft of a job description for the BCSC Director based on the listening sessions this spring and developing a plan moving forward for the search and hiring process given the evolving significant impact of the pandemic.

These past weeks, we have seen millions of Americans vocalize their pain in protests across the nation as a large and appropriate response to the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and all of the Black people who have been murdered by anti-Black violence - too often by police. These are just some of the names in the last few months, whose killings have caused profound grief, pain, and anger across our community. These events underscore the ongoing importance of the work of the committee, and we hold these feelings with us as we continue the search.

Next Steps and Search Timeline

As you are probably aware, the University instituted a hiring freeze in March. We are excited to announce that the division advocated successfully for the BCSC Director Search to continue to move forward. This decision by the University is an affirmation of the importance of the BCSC Director position.

Over the summer, the Search Committee will meet with Koya Leadership Partners, University Human Resources, and the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity to discuss best practices for how to build a diverse applicant pool and inclusive search process, and how best to navigate the challenges of searching in the current environment.

We will solicit feedback from various constituencies regarding the job description at the start of the fall semester. If you have additional feedback, or were not able to attend a listening session in the spring semester, you can still submit your thoughts by using the following anonymous feedback form, which is reviewed by the entire search committee: https://forms.gle/atYpBLjwe8Qb7Ky9A

We want to confirm the following next steps and revised timeline for the BCSC Director search necessitated by the disruption to the spring semester and the ongoing uncertainty created by the pandemic:

●      holding listening sessions for feedback on draft of the job description given the complexity of concerns and hopes shared in listening sessions this spring (early fall)

●      posting the final BCSC Director job description (early November)

●      holding initial zoom interviews with approximately 10-12 candidates (early February)

●      holding on-campus interviews with approximately 3-4 candidates (mid to late March)

●      selection of final BCSC Director candidate (early April)

We expect that the hired BCSC Director will start in summer of 2021.

Committee Membership Changes

We are excited to announce that Sara Alavi ’21 has agreed to join the BCSC Director Search Committee to replace Akash Altman ’20. Sara has been deeply involved with the BCSC as a TWTP workshop facilitator, Social Justice Peer Educator, and member of the BCSC Student Advisory Board. She was chosen by the search committee from the pool of students nominated for the search committee during the open process last spring. 

After graduating, Akash has stepped down from the committee and will help Loc Truong staff the committee. We thank Akash for his ongoing commitment to the search. This change affirms our commitment that students will comprise half the committee (5 students and 5 staff/faculty), be the majority constituency on the committee (5 students, 4 staff, and 1 faculty member), and that undergraduates will be the majority of the student representation (3 undergraduate and 2 graduate students).

BCSC Staffing

Loc Truong continues to serve as the Interim Director of the BCSC until a permanent BCSC Director is hired. Together with the BCSC professional staff, they will continue to support students during this challenging time.

For updates on the search, please visit our website found at brown.edu/go/bcsc-director-search. We look forward to continued engagement with you throughout this process.

We are committed to a transparent search process that is as accessible as possible to the entire community, especially to students. Again, thank you for your commitment to the BCSC. If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected]edu.


Sara Alavi '21, Undergraduate Student

Wassa Bagayoko '21, Undergraduate Student

Vernicia Elie, Associate Dean for Financial Advising

Eric Estes, Vice President for Campus Life & Student Services (Co-Chair)

Nancy Khalek, Associate Professor of Religious Studies (Co-Chair)

Bahati Nkera, Ph.D. Neuroscience, Graduate Student

Uchechukwu Onwunaka '19, MPA, Graduate Student

Julio Reyes '12, Program Director for Undocumented, First-Generation College, and Low-Income Student Center (U-FLi Center), Alumnae

Felicia Salinas-Moniz, Ph.D. '13, Senior Assistant Director, Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender

Ciara Sing '22, Undergraduate Student