Missouri State University has selected Algerian Hart as its interim chief diversity officer and assistant to the president.
Hart, who has worked for MSU since 2019, previously served as a professor and associate dean of the Graduate College, according to a news release. He was chosen for the one-year interim appointment over three other candidates, Kelly Cabrera Hayes, Juan Meraz and Nicole West – all of whom also are MSU employees. Hart replaces Wes Pratt, who retired Aug. 1 after working for the university since 2007.
MSU officials said in the release Hart has a robust academic record related to diversity, equity and inclusion, including dozens of publications and presentations in the United States and abroad.
“Algerian has focused much of his academic research and involvement on improving academic success of diverse students,” said Missouri State President Clif Smart in the release. “I’m confident he’ll take that knowledge and expertise to help us be a more inclusive campus.”
MSU spokesperson Emily Yeap said Hart will be compensated $156,000 for the one-year appointment.
Before arriving in Springfield, Hart worked at Western Illinois University, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Seattle Pacific University and the Game Time Foundation in Seattle.
He is a faculty evaluator for the American Council on Education and a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.
“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to step into this role and continue the great work that’s already been established by Wes,” Hart said in the release. “I’m very much looking forward to working with current and new administrators on our DEI efforts in continuing to cultivate opportunity and access here at MSU.”
Hart has a doctorate in educational administration and leadership and a master’s in recreation administration and leisure studies from Washington State University. He holds a bachelor’s in sociology from California State University Long Beach.
University officials plan to assess the need for a national search over the next year, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
Mercy Springfield Communities relocated a clinic; San Clemente, California-based law firm Gilson Daub Inc. expanded to the Springfield market; and a second video gaming center for Contender eSports Springfield LLC opened in the Queen City.