The mission of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) is to provide quality services and programs that support and enhance the collegiate experience, particularly for students of color. Through advising, advocacy and outreach, OMA is dedicated to an equitable, diverse and inclusive campus community that helps students excel individually and collectively.
- Student Centered Development — We are committed to ensuring that our top priority is to meet the needs of the students we serve.
- Equity, Diversity and Inclusion — We are committed to creating a culture that is inclusive, is representative and is grounded in practices that are equitable.
- Social Justice and Advocacy — We are committed to advocating on behalf of the students we serve and engaging in our work through a social justice lens.
- Community Building — We are committed to fostering meaningful, authentic connections among our students and our staff.
- Collaboration and Partnerships — We are committed to partnering with stakeholders to create an environment where our students can be successful and treated respectfully as whole individuals.
History of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA)
The origins of the OMA office started on Oct. 6, 1976, when the Administrative Committee on Minority Services (ACMS) met for the first time as a work group in McIntyre Library to address the need to support multicultural students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
At that time, Veda Stone, Native American coordinator and Alice Grant, Black American program coordinator, worked with this committee of 11 UWEC faculty and staff to discuss the needs of these student populations and to identify strategic priorities to support student of color at UW-Eau Claire.
In the summer of 1977, as a result of the ACMS work group, Mr. Andrew Pumphrey, coordinator of Black American students and Dr. Jane Wilson, coordinator of American Indian students were the first staff members of the American Ethnic Coordinating Office (AECO), which became an academic, social and cultural center on campus for multicultural students. In that year, the office also included Greg Jones, Black American assistant; Charity Thunder, American Indian assistant; Mildred Woletz, secretary; and Debra Santineau, work-study student employee. The office’s original charge was to support UW System’s goal to recruit traditionally underrepresented students of color to UW-Eau Claire.
In 1979, the AECO began to direct efforts and resources toward retention services, including advising, tutoring and graduation initiatives for students of color.
In the fall of 2005, the office was renamed the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
A History of Leadership
Since its founding, the Office of Multicultural Affairs has been led by passionate and dedicated individuals.
1977-1986: Andrew Pumphrey, Coordinator
1988-2002: Jim Vance, Director
2004-2016: Dr. Jesse Dixon, Director
2017-2018: Dr. Tamara Johnson, Director of OMA & Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
2018-Present: Dang Yang, Director