History of the Office of Multicultural Affairs


Services for Black, Hispanic, and Appalachian White students were initially established in 1972 through the Office of Student Development. Fritz Jackson served as the first director of the program. The Office of Student Development included the following components: Upward Bound/Educational Talent Search Programs, Minority Student Activities, Project Search, Research and Evaluation. Recruitment of Black, Hispanic, and Appalachian White students was also an integral part of the office. The Student Development Program was dissolved in July 1985 and the functions of the office were incorporated into the Minority Student Affairs office with the exception of minority student recruitment, which was moved to the Office of Admissions. The reorganization was the result of an administrative reconfiguration by former President Paul Olscamp.

The name of the office was later changed to Multicultural Affairs during the 1990-91 academic year and the Project Search Program, Research and Evaluation, and Minority Student Activities were moved to other areas within the Division of Students Affairs and the University. In 1997, the Multicultural Affairs Office was restructured when the Student Support Services (TRIO) and Multicultural Affairs programs were merged into one office. The office name was later changed to the Center for Multicultural and Academic Initiatives on February 20, 1998 to reflect the mission and programs. Upon the recommendation of an external program review process, the Student Support Services Program was given departmental status by the Vice President of Student Affairs in 2002 and is no longer a component of the Center.

During the May 2009 Staff Retreat, it was suggested by the Vice President for Student Affairs, that the department act on the recommendation of a student consulting group and change the office name to better reflect the mission and services of the department. In June 2009, the name was officially changed back to the Office of Multicultural Affairs and a new mission was established. Today, the Office of Multicultural Affairs has three main focus areas: retention of diverse student populations; multicultural programming, and diversity education. We take pride in providing exceptional service and dedication to the University and surrounding community in these targeted areas.