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University of Iowa News Release

February 2, 2004

College Of Liberal Arts & Sciences Names Diversity Director, Lauds Achievements

In recognition of his superior efforts and outstanding success in promoting cultural diversity in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Executive Associate Dean Raúl Curto has been named the college's director of diversity.

In making the appointment, Linda Maxson, dean of the college, noted Curto's success in recruiting a diverse faculty and his support for the mentoring of minority junior faculty. Since he became executive associate dean in 1998, the percentage of tenure-track faculty who are members of minority groups has risen steadily from 12.6 percent to nearly 15 percent, even under very difficult circumstances, Maxson said. Curto and his colleagues in the mathematics department also have worked to make the department a national leader in minority graduate student recruitment.

Maxson said that naming a director of diversity was a way to highlight a longstanding commitment by the college to promoting a diverse learning and working environment and to strengthen those efforts by organizing them under a dedicated central leader.

The college's diversity efforts have been held up as a model for the rest of the university, Maxson said. Three departments--mathematics in 1999, theatre arts in 2001 and social work in 2002--and two individuals--Curto in 2000 and Eugene Madison, mathematics, in 2001--have won the university's Catalyst Award, which was created by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity in 1999 to recognize individuals and departments that have had a positive impact on diversity.

"Diversity and multiculturalism are among the hallmarks of a world-class university," Maxson said. "The basis of liberal learning is critical thinking, and it is difficult to learn to think critically unless we are challenged with alternative views and interpretations. A college culture that is inclusive and respectful is essential to what we do, and the diversity it brings is a sign of strength in any discipline. With Raúl's strong leadership we will continue to do everything we can to make our college a welcoming place for people of all backgrounds and persuasions."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu.