Portrait taken on January 28, 2020. Kevin White/Missouri State University

Missouri State University has named an interim chief diversity officer and assistant to President Clif Smart. Algerian Hart replaces H. Wes Pratt, who recently retired.

Since 2019, Hart has been the associate dean of Missouri State’s Graduate College.

“Algerian has focused much of his academic research and involvement on improving academic success of diverse students,” Smart said in a news release. “I’m confident he’ll take that knowledge and expertise to help us be a more inclusive campus.”

Hart holds a Ph.D. in educational administration and leadership, as well as a master’s in recreation administration and leisure studies from Washington State University. He earned his bachelor’s in sociology from California State University, Long Beach. Before he came to Springfield, he worked at several universities, including Western Illinois University, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Seattle Pacific University.

“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to step into this role and continue the great work that’s already been established by Wes,” Hart said in a news release. “And I’m very much looking forward to working with current and new administrators on our DEI efforts in continuing to cultivate opportunity and access here at MSU.”