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Bello-Ogunu Sr. joins LU as vp for diversity and inclusion

John Bello-Ogunu Sr.Lamar University welcomes John Bello-Ogunu, Sr. as vice president for diversity and inclusion beginning Aug. 15. He most recently was chief diversity officer and associate vice president at The College of Charleston, where he served since 2010.

There, he created the institution’s first Office of Institutional Diversity, established a diversity strategic roadmap and provided leadership for the college’s overall institutional diversity and inclusion efforts.

Under his leadership, the college created the Eddie Ganaway Diversity Education and Resource Center, the Critical Issues in Diversity lecture series and its first-ever Annual Student Diversity Conference. He helped the college establish Divisional Diversity Liaisons, a student Diversity Advocates Program and a Black Alumni Caucus. At College of Charleston, Bello-Ogunu also established the institution’s Diversity Campus Climate Study Committee, which successfully developed and administered the college’s comprehensive diversity campus climate survey. In addition, Bello-Ogunu created and co-chaired the college’s President’s Commission on Diversity, Access, Equity, and Inclusion, and successfully led the commission in creating the institution’s Diversity Strategic Plan, the first in its 246-year history.

Bello-Ogunu has diverse and extensive administrative and leadership experiences in Higher Education. He has held senior leadership positions in academic affairs, student affairs, multicultural affairs, diversity and international programs. Some of his previous senior leadership roles include serving as Auburn University’s founding assistant provost for multicultural affairs and as Millersville University of Pennsylvania’s founding assistant provost for academic services and university retention.

He joined The College of Charleston from Wichita State University, where he served as associate dean of students and director of multicultural affairs and an associate professor of communications. He has also held senior tenured faculty positions at other institutions including Auburn University and Oakland University respectively. Bello-Ogunu has been recognized and honored by his former students and peers, as well as various national and regional groups for his teaching and leadership excellence. He was also the recipient of an award from The Brothers of the Academy (BOTA) for his contributions to diversity education. Bello-Ogunu became the first recipient of the Charleston County (SC) Government-Diversity Committee’s inaugural diversity award for his continued contributions to diversity learning.

Bello-Ogunu has developed and taught many undergraduate and graduate courses, including Cross-Cultural Communication, Multicultural Communication, Race Relations In America, Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, Communication in Leadership, Communication in Conflict Management, Effective Listening, and Introduction to Rhetorical Theory.                                                  

His scholarly works include book chapters, refereed journal articles and numerous conference presentations on such subjects as diversity, race relations, diversity-centered academic curriculum, minority student retention, communication, effective listening, and the use of “questions and questioning” as a teaching tool. Bello-Ogunu also has extensive consulting experience in diversity, race relations and intercultural communication, as well as a strong record of community service engagement. He has served as a member of the board of directors for the City of Wichita Global Learning Center and a member of the advisory council for the Diversity Kansas Organization. Bello-Ogunu also holds membership in several diversity associations, including the National Association of Chief Diversity Officers in Higher Education, the National Association of Multicultural Education, and the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education.

Bello-Ogunu holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from the University of Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana, an M.ED. in mass communication from Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a Ph.D. in speech communication, rhetoric and public address from Ohio University.

An avid soccer player, Bello-Ogunu has successfully coached several youth soccer teams in different states. Bello-Ogunu and his wife, Veronica, are the proud and blessed parents (and foster parents) of very successful children, including their oldest son, who recently completed his Ph.D. studies in Computing and Information Systems at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.