ALBION, Mich. (WOOD) — Albion College has hired a new person to lead its diversity, equity and inclusion department.

Taran Mczee will start as Chief Belonging Officer on Jan. 9. McZee comes from Grand Valley State University, where he served as the director of GV Prep dual enrollment and the TRiO program.

McZee also worked in diversity and inclusion at Transylvania University and Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Kentucky.

“The first big step is to make sure Albion College is at a place where DEI is second nature,” said McZee. “That is my goal. Building a household name for DEI work here at Albion. We take care of our house first and make this a model that others want to be part of.”

The Flint native got his master’s degree in education administration and Bachelor of Science in sociology from Central Michigan University. He is in the midst of completing his dissertation at the University of Kentucky.

McZee is a recognized national DEI speaker, certified DEI trainer and certified Title IX trainer. He has won honors for his work, according to Albion College.

“I want to meet people on their journey. I want them to know that I am here and I am available and I am ready. It’s that simple,” said McZee.

The new hire comes while Albion is facing allegations from basketball players that their coach used racial slurs during practice. The student senate released a statement on Instagram Wednesday in response.

“We are disgusted by the remarks and disappointed by the schools reaction. On behalf of the Albion College Student Body we, the Albion College Student Senate, stand with the Men’s Basketball Team and the entirety of the student body, and are advocating for proper repercussions while hoping to work alongside the administration,” the statement read.