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University of Iowa News Release

May 13, 2004

Skorton To Implement Remaining Diversity Committee Recommendations

University of Iowa President David Skorton will implement the remaining recommendations made last fall by an ad hoc committee that reviewed how the university's central administration is structured to promote diversity.

The recommendations were made in September 2003 by the Diversity Administration Review Committee, which Skorton appointed in March 2003. The committee's two specific charges were: 1) to review central administrative structures at Regent and peer institutions; and 2) to suggest changes in central administrative structures and responsibilities aimed at improving effectiveness and efficiency of diversity efforts at the UI.

Skorton implemented three of the committee's recommendations shortly after its report was presented last September:

--Changing the name of the Office of Affirmative Action to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.

--Initiating regular meetings between Equal Opportunity and Diversity staff with the University's vice presidents and deans.

--Exploring private sector funding possibilities to support diversity activities.

The remaining recommendations that will now be implemented include:

--Creating new programmatic agenda within the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its efforts, including separate initiatives on equal opportunity, diversity and compliance.

--Assigning primary and secondary responsibility for diversity-related functions among various UI offices, including Equal Opportunity and Diversity, the president, the provost, vice presidents, deans and department heads, and the ombudsperson.

--Creating an external funding specialist position to ensure that diversity-related external grants are procured and retained.

"We will be working out the details of implementing these recommendations in the coming weeks," Skorton said. "In all cases, we will fulfill the spirit of the recommendations. However, because of budget constraints, we will employ some flexibility in responding, such as reassigning personnel instead of creating new positions."

Charlotte Westerhaus, assistant to the president and director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, chaired the ad hoc committee. Other committee members were Christine Brus, director of the program for Women in Science and Engineering; Sue Buckley, associate vice president for finance and operations and director of human resources; Carolyn Colvin, associate dean and associate professor, College of Education; Joe Coulter, associate provost for diversity and director of Opportunity at Iowa; Phillip Jones, vice president for student services and dean of students; Phil Kutzko, professor of mathematics; and William Welburn, assistant dean of the Graduate College.

A copy of the committee's entire report can be found at http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2003/september/091503diversity-report.html.

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

CONTACT(S): Media: Steve Parrott, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu; phone 319-335-0552, cell 530-6972