Introducing Gigi Secuban


Meet the first-ever vice president for diversity and inclusion.

Sarah Penix / News Editor

In her first year as Ohio University’s first-ever vice president for diversity and inclusion, Dr. Gigi Secuban seeks to make the Office of Diversity and Inclusion more visible at all levels.

During her first academic year, Secuban aims to make structural changes to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, meet with student groups, identify program priorities for funding and begin initial discussions to create a “unified campus diversity strategic plan.”

“Creating a welcoming environment for every member of the Bobcat Community is a priority,” Secuban said in an email. “You will continue to see that demonstrated in both words and the collective actions of our university leadership across all of our campuses.”

Secuban’s goal is to extend OU President Duane Nellis’ priority of making OU a national leader for diversity and inclusion through considering it at every level of university decision-making.


Dr. Gigi Secuban will begin her role as vice president for diversity and inclusion on June 18. (Provided via University of Ilinois)

From attending programs on campus to evolivng the campus culture, Secuban’s goals for Fall Semester focus on heightening the scope of diversity and inclusion in all levels of university activities and decision-making.

“Considerations must be made for nearly every aspect of university decision-making, from personnel recruitment to budgetary decisions to curriculum planning,” Secuban said in an email.

Last year as interim Chief Diversity Officer, Jason Pina, along with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, conducted an audit to reflect activities related to diversity and inclusion at OU. By collecting feedback from students, faculty, staff, alumni and former employees and comparing OU with other Ohio schools, the report gives an overview of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion division.

As a response to the audit, the office is focusing to bolster diversity and inclusion efforts and make OU a more tolerant place through incentivizing action, promoting synergies, proactivity, investing in experience and defining accountability.

“The quality of the experience ... is greatly enhanced when we collaborate and share experiences and perspectives with people from all different backgrounds, lifestyles and communities from all over the world,” Secuban said in an email. “We cannot rest on our successes. It is clear that we need to continue to evolve in the way in which we think about diversity and inclusion in terms of Ohio’s culture.”

Over the past five years, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion has seen four different supervisors including Secuban, OU’s LGBT Center Director delfin bautista said.

“Her presence will bring a level of stability that we haven’t had, so I’m looking forward to that and just that stability being able to ripple onto the programs, both what we do individually as centers but then collectively as a division,” bautista said. “In addition to that, having a more stable face and voice for diversity efforts on campus.”

Since joining OU in June, Secuban has spoken with numerous university decision-makers including Nellis, deans of the academic colleges and members of the Board of Trustees in order to access ongoing efforts about Diversity and Inclusion, as well as ways OU can become nationally recognized in diversity and inclusion.

The office also worked toward revamping its website, building a team within the division for further collaboration on community needs and developing the program and strategic planning for fall semester, Secuban said in an email.

“Dr.Secuban is looking forward to having conversations with our community and stakeholders over the next several months as well as getting acclimated to her team and our campus,” OU Spokeswoman Carly Leatherwood said in an email.

Development by: Megan Knapp / Digital Production Editor

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