November 10, 2009

Three finalists named for diversity post

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale community will soon have the opportunity to meet the three finalists for the position of associate chancellor for institutional diversity.

Anita Fleming-Rife, Linda McCabe Smith and Sylvanus N. Wosu will each be on campus in the coming weeks for two-day visits. They will participate in faculty and student forums, tour the facilities and meet with University officials.

Fleming-Rife, currently visiting full professor in the departments of Africana Studies and Journalism Mass Communications at the University of Northern Colorado, will be at SIUC Nov. 30-Dec. 1. She’ll appear at a student forum 3:30-4:30 p.m. Nov. 30 in the Mississippi Room at the Student Center, and at a faculty forum in the Ohio Room at the Student Center, 1-1:45 p.m. on Dec. 1.

Wosu, presently associate dean for diversity affairs at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, will visit SIUC Dec. 1-2. On Dec. 2, faculty can meet him during a forum from 1 to 1:45 p.m. and students can do so from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. Both forums are set for the Ohio Room at the Student Center.

McCabe Smith, currently serving as the SIUC interim associate chancellor for institutional diversity, will make her official campus presentations Dec. 7-8. She will participate in a faculty forum from 1 to 1:45 p.m. and a student forum from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m., both on Dec. 7 in the Mississippi Room at the Student Center.

“We had a very viable pool of candidates. The ones we got are very good,” said Harold R. Bardo, director and associate professor of the Medical Education Preparatory Program in the School of Medicine at SIUC and chair of the Associate Chancellor for Institutional Diversity Search Committee.

Bardo said the committee set stringent standards for applicants, ensuring a very high quality group for members to consider. They interviewed 10 and selected three finalists to visit campus for final interviews and presentations. He said he anticipates the committee will make its final recommendation to Chancellor Samuel Goldman by mid-December. Ultimately, Goldman will make his recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which will make the hiring call. Bardo said the committee’s target date for having a new associate chancellor named is January 2010 and it appears things are on track to meet that goal.

Fleming-Rife earned her doctorate in journalism from SIUC in 1997. She holds a master’s in journalism, awarded in 1990 at the University of Northern Colorado, where she also completed her bachelor’s in communication in 1979.

Prior to her current position, Fleming-Rife was chair and full professor of the Department of Mass Communications and director of the Title III Grant for the Mass Communications Activity at Grambling State University 2006-2007, and chair and associate professor for the Mass Media Arts Department and director of the Mass Media Arts Center for Excellence at Clark Atlanta University 2005-2006. She was chair and professor in the communications department at Bowie State University 2003-2004 and also taught at Penn State University, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and SIUC.

Her prior employment includes serving as a project manager for the New York Secretariat of the United Nations and public information officer within the office of the UN spokesman in Mogadishu. She’s held a variety of producing and directing positions at television and radio stations, too. Fleming-Rife’s experience includes being active in numerous committee positions within the universities where she teaches and she’s obtained extensive international experience through her employment and via board service. In addition, she’s held a variety of committee or commission positions relative to diversity.

McCabe Smith is an SIUC alumna, earning her doctorate in speech-language and hearing pathology in 1995. She holds a 1985 master’s in speech-language and hearing from North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C., where she also earned her bachelor’s in 1981 in elementary education.

She has been the interim associate chancellor for diversity since 2008, filling the post vacated by the retirement of Seymour Bryson. In addition, McCabe Smith is an associate professor of communication disorders and sciences in the Rehabilitation Institute. She served as interim associate dean of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts 2007-2008 and was previously assistant professor of communication disorders and sciences in the Rehabilitation Institute. Since 1993, McCabe Smith has held a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association.

She was a Patricia Roberts Harris Graduate Fellow in the SIUC Communication Disorders and Sciences Program from 1990 to 1994 and won the University Women’s Professional Advancement Award in 1997 and 1999. Her career also includes work as a speech-language pathologist in several school districts and programs in North Carolina.

McCabe Smith has held several leadership roles within higher education and speech and hearing organizations. She attended the prestigious Higher Education Resource Services Bryn Mawr Summer Institute in 2007 and served in several roles pertaining to diversity within academia.

Wosu completed his doctorate as well as his master’s in engineering physics at the University of Oklahoma in 1988 and 1985, respectively. He also earned a master’s in industrial and applied physics from the Central Oklahoma State University in 1982 and his bachelor’s in petroleum engineering at the University of Oklahoma in 1980.

Prior to acquiring his current position in 2000, Wosu was director of the University of Pittsburgh Act 101 Program from 2000 to 2005 and was director of their Engineering Career Access Program 2000-2007. Wosu was director of the Materials and Engineering Research Program at Dillard University in New Orleans 1993-2000 and Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Dillard 1998 to 2000.

Also at the New Orleans university, he was interim dean in the Division of Natural Sciences 1998-1999, director/campus coordinator for the Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation Program and Leadership Enhancement in the Sciences Program 1994-2000, chairman of the Department of Physics, Mathematics, pre-Engineering 1991-2000 and associate professor of physics 1995-1998.

His career also includes time as an associate professor of physics at Dillard, adjunct faculty/research associate at the University of New Orleans and research associate at a New Hampshire lab. He founded and has been chairman/chief educational consultant and previously chairman/vice president for research and development for the Kanmas Educational Support Center in Gibsonia, Pa. His background includes extensive research and publishing as well as grant administration. He’s been involved in diversity work in a variety of capacities from committees, boards and programs to speaking engagements and conferences.