Micah McCarey, who serves as assistant director for East Green and Diversity Initiatives, has been named interim director of the LGBT Center at Ohio University, according to an OU news release.
McCarey, a longtime employee in the Division of Student Affairs, also has prior experience at the institution in Housing and Residence Life and the Office of the Ombuds, the release said.
“After 15 years of supporting equity and social justice efforts in Athens and at Ohio University,” McCarey said in the release, “I feel incredibly optimistic about reconnecting students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members and other supporters to our growing LGBT Center. I am also excited to support Dr. Secuban’s goals of illuminating existing networks of support for LGBTQ+ persons across our campuses and highlighting opportunities to contribute to our university’s pathway to inclusive excellence.”
The university received substantial criticism after terminating former LGBT Director delfin bautista early this year.
The university’s decision to not renew center Director bautista’s contract, communicated to bautista on Jan. 10, prompted a firestorm of criticism in the campus community, including among LGBT members and allies, much of it directed at the OU official who made the decision, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Gigi Secuban.
McCarey will begin his new role on May 13, and will serve as interim director as the university engages in a new national search for a permanent center director, according to the release. This announcement comes after a national search for a new center director “was not able to successfully yield the next leader of this important position in the Division of Diversity and Inclusion,” the release said.
“While this search did not have the conclusion we had hoped for, it does not diminish the incredible work of the search committee and Dr. Jeremy Webster, who served as its chair. I want to thank them for their commitment to diversity and inclusion,” Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Secuban said in the release.
The release continues by stating, “The commitment to the LGBT community remains strong as the university has grown the staffing of the center through the creation of new positions and the hiring of the assistant director, Jan Huebenthal, and Accounting Support Associate Becky Arnold.”
A renewed search for the LGBT Center director will begin in the fall, according to the release. “I am mindful that we are at the end of the academic year, and students, faculty and staff participation will be essential in this process,” Secuban said. “I am pleased that Cynthia Anderson, professor of sociology and director of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies will chair the renewed search, which will begin this fall semester to provide our community with the opportunity to share feedback during the process.”
McCarey is assuming his new role following the announcement that Ty Carr, who had served as interim director of the LGBT Center since January 2019, has accepted a new position in University Advancement, the release said. He will serve out his contract as interim director of the LGBT Center through June 30 to assist with the transition. His appointment in Advancement begins May 15.