Juan Meraz

Juan Meraz
Missouri State University

Missouri State University has appointed a new assistant vice president for Student Affairs who will in part assume responsibilities previously held by Juan Meraz.

The announcement of Dr. Michele Smith was made Thursday on the university’s website.

Han Zhao / KSMU

The newly completed annex for Missouri State University’s Multicultural Resource Center is now accessible to students. But behind the seemingly crowded open house ceremony last month inside Freudenberger House, some students have their reservations about this venue.

“The facility means good and bad things,” Ravyn Brooks, junior sociology student, told KSMU at the open house party. “The good part is there’s more space. We now actually have a safe zone for LGBT plus.”

Springfield Coalition for Minority Advancement
Scott Harvey / KSMU

Weeks after a student group first publically called for the dismissal of Juan Meraz and following the recent conclusion of a review into his behavior, the diversity official at Missouri State University is apologizing for his actions.

Specifically, the assistant vice president of Multicultural Services says he is sorry for the language and tone used during a recorded discussion with a student, according to a university statement.

Missouri State Seal
Scott Harvey / KSMU

A visiting diversity consultant says best practices at Missouri State University can’t be followed unless it has best practitioners.  

Speaking before some 100 members of MSU’s Student Affairs division Friday, Dr. Lori Patton Davis took comments and offered perspective on diversity issues facing universities throughout the country.

“How you show up in your work affects students. And if you’re not aware of who you are, what your biases are, what your assumptions are, that doesn’t lead to best practices.”

Clif Smart
Missouri State University

Missouri State University’s amended non-discrimination policy puts into writing current practices and clarifies any confusion with regards to existing law.