Charles Small has been appointed as the new interim vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as the search for a permanent replacement continues.
Small officially began serving as the interim vice president Oct. 15 after the previous interim Margo Forman accepted a position at Clark University.
The previous long-term Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was Reginald Chhen Stewart, who left Iowa State to serve in the same position at Chapman University last summer.
The search for a permanent is ongoing, with the search firm Spelman Johnston currently screening the official candidates for the position. In the meantime, Small has taken the reigns as interim and will serve until the permanent position has been filled.
Small originally held a senior associate athletics director position, working as part of a leadership team; Small oversaw student services for students involved in athletic programs. In this position, Small would help to ensure the well-being of student-athletes as well as help to make sure student athletes' academics do not fall through. Small is also the sports administrator for men's basketball and wrestling.
To take some of the load off Small's plate, some of the responsibilities of his previous position have been taken on by other staff members of the athletics department. Small will resume these responsibilities once a permanent has been chosen.
"Any time President Wintersteen can ask you to serve in this capacity, I mean, I just think it's a really great honor for the person," Small said. "I think one of the reasons she asked me to serve was: one, because of my professional background, so an undergrad and master's degrees in social work. And also my doctorate degrees in higher ed management."
In the position of interim, Small works to coordinate the different ongoing programs and initiatives in each of the colleges. As interim vice president, Small also serves as the Title IX coordinator for the university, an essential role in ensuring that the university is compliant in sexual harassment and assault-related issues.
"I think the interim is a leadership position, we have initiatives that are going on, and we have a great staff kind of working on those initiatives," Small said. "...So my role as interim is more coordinating and orchestrating making sure we keep them folks engaged… So it's more, making sure that people have the support that they need."
Small spoke on how he felt about being appointed to the position of interim vice president.
"I just think it's really exciting to see the direction that the university is going, really emphasizing, you know, a welcoming and supportive community. I think that President Wintersteen has laid out, kind of our strategic goal report; it's awesome. And all the colleges and Student Affairs departments are really rallying behind that."