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Long-time Minority Advocate Appointed New OME Head

Thomas R. Karlo--The Tech
Professor Leo Osgood, the newly selected Dean of the Office of Minority Education, coaches a player during Tuesday's game against Clark University.

By Stacey E. Blau
Staff Reporter

Leo Osgood Jr., associate professor in the Athletic Department, will assume the position of dean of the Office of Minority Education on Feb. 1.

"I have worked with minority students on an array of issues and concerns; I think that this will be a good opportunity to work more closely with minority students," Osgood said.

Osgood, who is also the head basketball coach and dean-on-call for the Office of Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs, received notice of his appointment to the position in late December.

The decision to select Osgood resulted from a three-month long search process. The search committee, composed of four administrators, two faculty members, and five students, was chaired by Professor Raphael L. Bras '72, department head of civil and environmental engineering.

The committee chose Osgood out of a pool of about 140 applicants, Bras said. "We found that Leo Osgood presented all the qualities that we thought a dean of the OME should have," Bras said. The committee ultimately chose to interview seven candidates and recommended only a handful from that group to Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs Arthur C. Smith, who made the final decision.

The selection process included an open forum to encourage outside opinion, said Luis H. Rodriguez Jr. G, who was a member of the search committee. The committee sent out letters to various students, staff, and organizations. "It definitely had an impact," he said. The outside consensus matched the committee's positive appraisal of Osgood, he said.

The committee "highly recommended" Osgood, Smith said. "He was the best candidate," he said. "Leo has a good deal of experience at MIT. He understands MIT and understands MIT students," Smith added.

Osgood will be replacing Judy Jackson, who resigned last September to enter a doctoral program in higher education administration at Harvard University, Smith said. David Gordon Wilson, former professor of mechanical engineering, served as the interim dean of the OME.

Job follows years of experience

Osgood has been working at MIT in various capacities since 1977. In addition to his tenure in the athletic department and his position as an on-call dean, Osgood has served as an assistant counseling dean and as a liason to the OME. He has served on the faculty advisory board of the OME for six years and has also worked on Project Interphase, an OME summer program run for pre-freshmen minority students geared towards "assisting students in getting adjusted to MIT," Osgood said. He also co-chaired a presidential task force for career development of minority administrators at MIT.

"I have been working with the [OME] for about 10 years. I've worked on a cross section of diversity issues here at MIT. I thought I could provide the leadership for the office," Osgood said of his decision to apply for the position. Osgood said that he plans to continue trying to "build bridges between minority and non-minority communities."