OU Names Three Finalists for LGBT Center Director Position

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ATHENS, Ohio — Three candidates have been named as finalists to direct Ohio University’s LBGT Center, which hasn’t had a permanent director since the controversial firing of the previous director in January.

Micah McCary, Nicolas Franco and Kerr Mesner will participate in open forums on the Athens Campus Nov. 20, 21 and 22, respectively, as part of the interview process.

McCary has served as interim director of the center since May when Tyrone Carr, who was initially named to fill the interim positions, went to work with the University Advancement department. McCary is Ph.D. candidate with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication and master’s degree in Human Development from OU. He has also worked on diversity initiatives and served in various positions in the school’s Department of Housing and Residence Life since 2008.

Franco has served as manager of the Pride Center at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA since 2015. They have also taught Introductory Statistics for the Behavioral Science for EWU since 2017. (Franco uses they/them/their pronouns)Franco holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Women’s Studies from California State University, a master’s degree in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University and a doctorate in Leadership Studies from the Philosophy School at University of San Diego.

Mesner has been an instructor at various schools since 2005. Most recently, he has served as a visiting assistant profession of Women’s and Gender Studies at Wells College. Mesner is a conservatory graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, holds a bachelor’s degree in Humanities at College of New Rochelle, a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Vancouver School of Theology and a doctorate in Education from the University of British Columbia. He has used his background in musical theater to produce multiple works, including a one-person play exploring the intersections of queer identities. He also has had research published in numerous journals, including the Journal of LGBT Youth.

The open forums will take place as follows:

• McCarey – Wednesday, November 20: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. at Baker University Center, Room 231
• Franco – Thursday, November 21: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. 31 S. Court Street, Room 006
• Mesner – Friday, November 22: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. at 31 S. Court Street, Room 006

The position became open after the former director, delfin bautista was fired in January when they were reportedly told by Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Gigi Secuban that the university was going “in a different direction.”

An appeal of the removal by bautista was unsuccessful.