Narren Brown, Assistant Director of Analytic Support & Institutional Research, has recently accepted the position of Interim Director of the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership. He will be replacing Michael Benitez, who is leaving the College at the end of this semester to accept a position at the University of Puget Sound. Brown’s appointment is intended to ensure continuity in the Office while a search is conducted for a new director in the fall of next year.
Brown graduated from Luther College with a B.A. in Political Science and from Iowa State University with an M.A. in Political Science. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, with an emphasis on higher education and administration.
President Kington contacted Brown through e-mail regarding the position.
“I returned two weeks later with a proposal he asked me to put together, where I showed him what I thought the interim would look like,” Brown said.
While he hasn’t specifically worked in diversity programming on campus, Brown feels he will bring a useful personal perspective to the job.
“In all reality, I’ve done student programming before, but this was outside of my focus,” Brown said. “I think my lived experience and my own interest in diversity—and what that means and how to define it—really puts me at a good place to serve the interim role.”
Brown expects to create stronger relations with SGA, strengthen the Multicultural Leadership Council (MLC) and work with other student affairs divisions. This includes working with Grinnell Science Project, International Pre-Orientation Program and Peer Connections Pre-Orientation Program to create more purposeful interaction within and between the programs.
“I want to build on a strong relationship that [Michael Benitez] has established with Raghav [Malik ‘13] and the SGA, and streamline a funding request system … and I want to build on MLC,” Brown said. “I think it’s a great council that has a lot of critical and tough conversations … that build cross-cultural and intercultural communication.”
Brown is expected to hold the position until December 31 of this year, by which point the College expects to have the permanent Director in place.