LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas Office of Student Affairs has appointed Jordan Brandt and Nikita Haynie to leadership positions. Brandt is the new director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), while Haynie takes over as the director of the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity.
Brandt, who spent the last seven months as the interim director of the OMA, began her permanent appointment May 1.
“As interim director, Jordan’s work has been well received by campus partners, and, most importantly, students,” said Kevin Joseph, assistant vice provost in Student Affairs. “After two years of many transitions within the OMA, Jordan has provided stability and made great strides in creating a community where students feel validated and encouraged to live in their full authenticity. I am grateful and excited for her continued leadership.”
Brandt will serve as a member of the Student Affairs leadership team and provide leadership in advancing KU’s student equity and inclusion efforts. She will facilitate the development of social justice-based education, student-facing programming and additional resources to support students of color.
Brandt has years of experience focusing on diversity and equity efforts at KU. She began her KU career seven years ago in the OMA, serving as an academic adviser specifically supporting students of color, LGBTQIA+ students and undocumented students. She developed and presented social justice education in conjunction with campus partners. She then moved to the Academic Retention and Engagement Center, where she supported undergraduate students of color, first-generation students and Pell grant recipients.
Now, Brandt returns to the space where she began this work years ago and is eager to support historically underserved and underrepresented student populations.
“It is a full-circle moment to have the privilege of serving in this role,” Brandt said. “When I began working in the OMA as a graduate assistant, I learned that I had a passion for creating equitable pathways of success for students. The journey towards liberation is personal for me, which informs how I approach the professional responsibility I have in advocating and addressing the individual and collective needs of our students while centering on our most vulnerable populations.
“I am excited to continue to work with the dynamic OMA team who has worked diligently to create authentic spaces for our KU community to show up as themselves, and most importantly, continue to support our brilliant students.”
Brandt holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from KU and a bachelor’s degree in health and physiology from the University of Iowa.
Haynie began her appointment as director of the Emily Taylor Center on May 4. She arrived at KU in 2016 and has worked in the University Career Center, the Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life and Business Career Services. After years of supporting women across campus, she will continue to do so in a larger capacity at the Emily Taylor Center.
“I am excited to welcome Nikita back to Student Affairs,” Joseph said. “She brings a wealth of experience and has demonstrated a genuine passion for work and student engagement that centers women and promotes gender equity. I look forward to witnessing the ways our students and the greater campus community will benefit from her leadership.”
Haynie will serve as a member of the Student Affairs leadership team and provide leadership, education and advocacy regarding issues affecting women and other communities experiencing gender or sex-based bias. She will develop and implement the Emily Taylor Center’s strategic direction and oversee the development of programs and events that celebrate and empower women and others historically marginalized based on sex or gender.
“Throughout my career in higher education, I have supported students by creating a mode of self-discovery and providing a safe, inclusive campus community experience,” Haynie said. “This role reflects my passion for advocating and creating a safe space for equity and inclusivity for all women.
“I am most excited to continue celebrating and empowering women and others historically marginalized by leading the Emily Taylor Center through an intersectional feminist lens to enrich the holistic experience for KU students.”
Haynie holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Clayton State University, a master’s degree in higher education from Georgia Southern University and a master’s degree in fine arts writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.