The University of Maryland’s search for an assistant diversity and inclusion vice president is on pause indefinitely, Georgina Dodge, the university’s diversity and inclusion vice president told The Diamondback this month.

In 2019, Dodge announced at a Nyumburu forum she had convened a committee to find someone for the position. The assistant vice president would oversee campus organizations such as Nyumburu Cultural Center and the LGBT Equity Center.

But the search stalled when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Dodge said. The hiring pool narrowed after several candidates took their names out of consideration, she said, and the university also instituted a hiring freeze after the pandemic prompted steep financial losses.

There is no timeline for when the search will resume, Dodge said.

“We’re very much looking forward to have that position filled,” said Ronald Zeigler, Nyumburu’s director.
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In a January interview, university President Darryll Pines said the university can still hire employees “when there’s a critical need.” For instance, the Counseling Center hired four part-time staff psychologists during the fall semester.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which Dodge oversees, has prioritized filling other positions, she said. The office hired a new Bias Incident Support Services director in January, and it is moving forward to hire an ADA coordinator who would monitor the university’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dodge said.

In an interview Monday, Pines said vice presidents have the power to make a request for an exception to the hiring freeze. Pines would not explain the process behind approving or rejecting these requests.

Senior staff writer Clara Longo de Freitas contributed to this story.