The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs will conduct interviews this month to  fill vacancies in various positions within the office, according to Assistant Vice Provost for Student Diversity Tracey Ray.

The office may fill the assistant director positions for African American Student Affairs and Native American Student Affairs by May, but no later than June, Ray said. The department filled hired a new director 10 months ago.

Assistant directors help build community amongst the various student populations and serve as advisors or mentors to support and coordinate cultural experiences and programs, according to new office Director Rod Bradley.

The openings did not decrease the number of programs offered by office, but the department did have to get “creative,” Ray said. Programs are generally planned a year in advance, according to Bradley.

“We as a team in [Multicultural Student Affairs] are pulling together to continue to try to serve our student population,” Bradley said.  “They’ve stepped up to help support all students.”

Not only is the office pulling together, the campus community is as well. Rachel Ensing, a student services specialist for the Office of Admissions, helped coordinate this year’s upcoming Native American Powwow, Ray said. N.C. State hosts the largest collegiate Powwow in North Carolina.

“Yes, we’re down some staff, but just like any team you want to look for great team players, great candidates to come and join and to contribute to moving [Multicultural Student Affairs] forward,” Bradley said. “This is an opportunity for me to help build a team, based on some opportunities through employment vacancies.”

A couple of unfilled positions within a year are not unheard of, because most people change jobs every three to five years, according to Ray.  Assistant director positions are considered entry-level positions within higher education administration and are especially hard to fill.

“Of course you’re wanting to be full staff, but life happens, changes happen,” Bradley said. “We understand that, and we are going to do the best we can.”

The vacancies were a result of “professional transitions,” and occurred at the same time coincidentally, Bradley said. The first assistant director left in December, and the other left in January.

“It’s a transition of staff … and I’m excited about that,” Bradley said.

The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity and the campus community supported Bradley during his transition as director, according to Bradley.

“This was just a great opportunity for me to get connected with a strong institution that was looking, and still looks, to help make the N.C. State community better through cultural understanding and competence,” Bradley said.

Bradley said as director he will make sure students are able to compete and participate in a global society, and said he hopes to achieve this through cultural competence.

“People come with different understandings of themselves and diversity and we’re going to meet you where you are,” Bradley said. The first element of this is community (however you identify), followed by multicultural (working with people who have similarities) and then intercultural (working with people who have no similarities.)

The office faced other transitions last year, when MSA, along with the Women’s Center and GLBT Center, shifted from student affairs to OIED. 

“[Multicultural Student Affairs] being a part of OIED keeps us all more informed…so I think the future of MSA is in part the stronger connection with other units in our ability to influence diverse and inclusive learning environments that promote success for all students,” Ray said.

The office was started in 2001 with Ray as its first director.