OU officials announce interim associate vice president for university community

NORMAN, Okla. – Officials at the University of Oklahoma say they have found an interim associate vice president for university community.

Last month, Jabar Shumate said that he was “forced to resign” from the position.

Shumate was hired on as the first vice president after the 2015 scandal involving the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity singing racist chants. Shumate served also as the Chief of Diversity, leading the school’s Office of University Community, which was moved into the ousted fraternity’s old house.

In the announcement, Shumate said he learned that the school would be reinstating SAE and moving the Office of University Community out of that house.

“Of course, part of the reason that this is happening is because Mr. Shumate made it clear to the university that he didn`t think that that was a smart move,” said Shumate’s attorney, Lindsey Mulinix-Ewert.

But in a statement, an OU spokesperson denied SAE will be reopening a chapter at OU. The university also said Shumate resigned after he was confronted with an audit that found “a significant misuse of university assets.”

Shumate denies the allegations.

Earlier this month, the university announced that a search committee will interview internal candidates for the position of interim associate vice president for university community.

“We can and must do more to ensure a diverse and inclusive community,” OU President James Gallogly said. “I am personally committed to working shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone to make this happen. We are anxious to commence the national search quickly due to the critical nature of this position to our university.”

On Wednesday, university officials announced that Jane Irungu will serve as the interim associate vice president for university community at OU.

“I am honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve in this new role,” writes Irungu. “I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students and the entire OU community to enhance the foundations and principles of inclusive excellence that are part of our OU vision and mission.”

“We are so grateful to Dr. Irungu for taking on this incredibly important role within our university,” said OU President James Gallogly. “We have the utmost confidence in her leadership of the Office of University Community and I look forward to working with her.”

Currently, she serve as the executive director for the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies. She also helps in the design and implementation of curriculum for the First Year Diversity Experience.

Irungu will begin at the new position on Aug. 20.

A national recruitment search for a permanent candidate will commence early this fall.