Former LGBT Center Director Appeals Dismissal< < Back to
Editor’s Note: delfin bautista uses the pronouns they/them, and does not capitalize their name.
UPDATE (1/24 6:30 p.m.)
ATHENS (WOUB News) – Ohio University has posted a job description for the LGBT Center director, and it appears to have been submitted by the person who was removed from the job.
delfin bautista made these claims in a letter sent to OU’s president Duane Nellis on Wednesday night. bautista says their former supervisor, Dr. Gigi Secuban asked bautista and other employees in the office of Diversity & Inclusion to rewrite their own “position descriptions based on our current work as well as exploring new efforts.”
Included in that email is the description form, dated July 2018, that bautista says they submitted to Secuban. The job position, posted on ohiouniversityjobs.com appears to use that July description, word for word. bautista says Secuban approved the description in the summer. Two days before the start of this current semester Secuban told bautista she was removing them as head of the LGBT Center. That move left the center without a director, assistant director, or administrative assistant. An interim director was named a week after the dismissal.
In this current email, bautista questions how a description based on the job they were doing at the time could be used to advertise for a job they were led to believe they weren’t fit for.
“Despite the description being a reflection of my work, I was told I was being placed on administrative leave as the center is headed in a new direction.”
bautista has asked that this current discovery be added to the grievance filed to appeal their removal. The forms referenced in this article can be read here: OU LGBT Director Job Description bautista’s 2018 LGBT Job Description.
The University referred to its policy when asked if material could be added to a grievance filing after it has been submitted. The policy does not make clear whether or not materials can be added after submission.
WOUB has reached out to Secuban and the University seeking a response to bautista’s claims.
ATHENS (WOUB) — The former director of Ohio University’s LGBT Center is appealing the school’s decision not to renew their contract.
delfin bautista, in a 5,250-word appeal sent Monday to university officials including Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion Gigi Secuban, cited a lack of direction within the Office of Diversity & Inclusion under its new director, and a history of undermining behavior and lack of respect since Secuban’s start, as reasons for fighting the decision. They also said they found the reason given to them regarding their dismissal alarming.
“To then be told that ‘we are going in a different direction’ is alarming as we were never given direction and I was not given the opportunity to even try to live into any goals laid out by Dr. Secuban,” bautista wrote. “In 7 months all I knew of Dr. Secuban’s master plan was to come to work clean, groomed, and professionally dressed and that all budget decisions would be made by (Amanda Graham, Secuban’s executive assistant).”
Secuban notified delfin bautista of the decision not to renew their contract two weeks ago, but reports surfaced that before bautista was notified of their removal, others on campus had received automated messages saying bautista was no longer employed with the university.
Amid protests, President Duane Nellis reiterated previous statements by the university that the decision was not made lightly.
bautista provided several instances in the appeal in which they say they reported concerns to university administration and only received “there was nothing that could be done” as a response.
“I would hope that it would raise questions when an employee is being treated differently despite having gone to Human Resources, the Ombuds, and [Equity and Civil Rights Compliance]…,” bautista wrote.
An ECRC report spelled out bautista’s concerns with Secuban and Graham, all of which an investigator with ECRC said were “well within Dr. Secuban’s authority as the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion.”
In the appeal, they addressed multiple concerns raised by Secuban, including financial questions and some concerns about being “disruptive” at campus events. The financial questions were resolved, according to bautista, and they said they had apologized for a lack of understanding during the events.
“…I shared with Dr. Secuban that I would explore alternative ways to express myself that made non-people of color more comfortable while addressing questions/concerns/comments raised during an event,” bautista wrote.
But bautista said they also found that a lack of vision or “goal standard” by Secuban caused confusion for them as the director of an organization within Diversity & Inclusion. bautista also said they were confused over the rationale for not renewing their contract when their ideas about the LGBT Center’s direction “received affirmations and approval from Dr. Secuban.”
“Dr. Secuban also shared that she would like the other directors to model their evaluations and goal sheets after mine as I balanced both personal and professional goals with center goals,” the appeal stated.
The former director said they did not hear any dissatisfaction or receive disciplinary action from Secuban or their previous supervisors, Dr. David Descutner, Dr. Sherri Clarke, and Dr. Jason Pina.
The university sent a statement in response to media inquiries last week.
“Diversity and Inclusion is Ohio University’s top priority, and this very difficult decision was made in order to advance our commitment to and support of the LGBTQ+ community,” the statement read.
A message was left requesting comment from Secuban, Graham or the university.
Tyrone Carr has been named as the interim director of the center until a national search can be conducted, according to the university.
The university posted the position on Tuesday.
Secuban has seven days to file an answer to the appeal.