Students, staff react to termination of former director of multicultural programs and services

Tiffany Reed’s termination gets mixed reactions from students and staff. Collegian File Photo. 

ELLIE ALLEN | ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR |  emallen2@butler.edu 

Tiffany Reed, the former director of multicultural programs and services, worked her last day at Butler University on Nov. 4. Reed was let go after the first three months of the academic school year.

An evaluation after three months of employment is done with all new Butler employees, including Reed, who was hired in June. It is unclear at this time who received and filled out the evaluation, but Frank Ross, vice president for student affairs, said Reed gave the names of who she wanted to fill it out. Ross was unable to comment on whether the evaluation led to Reed’s termination. 

Reed was in charge of overseeing the programs within the Diversity Center. Reed said in a text message statement she is unable to comment at this time to The Butler Collegian.

Ceridwyn Snow, a senior astrophysics and philosophy major and the leader of Butler Alliance, said she filled out a similar evaluation survey for Thalia Anguiano, the assistant director of multicultural programs and services, but not Reed’s survey. Snow received an email for Anguiano’s three-month evaluation on Oct. 31, and it was due Nov. 4. The exact dates of Reed’s evaluation are unclear.

Snow said although she had only positive experiences with Reed, she wants to respect everyone’s point of view. 

“My reaction was pretty much shock, honestly,” Snow said. “As the leader of an organization, you have to take responsibility and realize the results might not be what you expect, and also try to rationalize the experiences of other people.”

Snow also said she is not in the Diversity Center as often as others, so she might not have witnessed certain situations with Reed that other students may have.

“From the little of what I heard, I think a lot of the reason why she maybe got negative reviews was from people that are here all the time, in the Diversity Center, who didn’t really get along very well with her own personality and her own way of solving problems,” Snow said.

Bust the B.U.B.B.L.E., which stands for Believe and Understand the Butler Bubble Limits Everyone, is a group that advocates for people of color on Butler’s campus. The group posted about Reed’s departure on their Instagram account on Nov. 7.

“She [Reed] was called ‘abrasive’ ‘intimidating’ and the one who made the environment feel ‘unsafe,’” the Instagram post reads. “These are the constant sounds of prejudice that people, especially women of color, hear on a daily basis. With little to no insight, feedback or even inclination towards a need for improvement she was let go. Unduly and expected to sweep numerous accounts of injustice under the rug.” 

Bust the B.U.B.B.L.E. responded to the Butler Collegian via Instagram direct message and said the group stands with students of color and realizes this is a complex matter. The group said it was not available to comment further.

“We are not here to invalidate student experience, but rather, to continue questioning and challenging this decision by the administrative processes that have left an impact on students of color and the environments where they thrive,” Bust the B.U.B.B.L.E said in the Instagram direct message. “We challenge and are looking for clear responses from administration regarding the hiring and retention practices and the equality of standards between administration, faculty and professor roles.” 

Jenna Repkin, head of marketing and communications for SGA, sent an official email statement to the Butler Collegian about Reed’s departure.

“SGA is thankful for Dr. Forrest’s and Dr. Ross’ willingness to listen to students and support students’ holistic well-being,” the statement said. “As the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion department undergoes a transition, SGA will continue to support the Center’s efforts to progress social justice issues and remain committed to advocating on behalf of student need.”

 Butler’s Black Student Union declined to comment at this time.

The Butler Collegian reached out to three other students who declined to comment due to fear of losing friends in the Diversity Center, finalizing the issues that occured and unavailability.

Three additional students did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Gina Forrest, executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion, said she cannot comment on personnel matters, but students can reach out to her or Anguiano to address any needs or concerns that they have.

“I think there’s always two sides to every coin,” Forrest said. “We have some students who are negatively affected and positively affected. I think trying to find the balance between both of those, because I want to support and be there for both students.”

Forrest said she doesn’t know when the hiring process will begin, but it will look similar to hiring in the past. Forrest said she is looking for someone innovative and who has experience with diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Someone who has a passion for working with students,” Forrest said. “Someone that can think of the future and where Butler will be in three, five, 10 years and what will that student will look like.”

The hiring process will involve a search committee, a job posting, screening applicants and phone and in-person interviews with employees and students.

 

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