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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 8, 2005

UI To Seek Director Of Reorganized Diversity Office

The University of Iowa is beginning a national search for a person to head the newly reorganized Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD). Professor Raul Curto, executive associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will chair the search committee, which will also include faculty, staff and students. Professor Salome Raheim, newly appointed senior associate to the president, will also participate in the search process.

The previous EOD director, Charlotte Westerhaus, left in August to become vice president for diversity and inclusion with the NCAA. Over the intervening months, the EOD directorship was reconfigured through discussions among senior administrators and others involved in campus diversity efforts. Now it will be advertised, and candidates will be considered during the coming months.

Jennifer Modestou is serving as interim assistant to the president and director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and will do so until a new director is named.

The new EOD director will lead an office that includes two units moved from other administrative areas. Opportunity at Iowa will be moved from the Office of the Provost while the Support Services Program moves from the Office of the Vice President for Student Services. The EOD director will continue to report directly to University of Iowa President David Skorton, but will also have the title of associate or assistant provost with functional working relationships with both the provost and the vice president for student services.

EOD's focus in the past had been to provide advice, education and services which ensure the University's compliance with all applicable federal, state and university equal opportunity, affirmative action, nondiscrimination and civil rights laws, regulations and policies. Also, the focus was to provide leadership and resources that support the university's goal to increase the diversity of university faculty, staff and students.

Now EOD's mission will expand to include student recruiting and academic development with the addition of Opportunity at Iowa and Special Support Services. Opportunity at Iowa helps to recruit minority students to the University of Iowa and works with other university organizations to provide those students with support services to help them make the transition to university life. Special Support Services promotes educational opportunities for underserved students from diverse backgrounds to provide the skills they need to improve academically. 

"I am very pleased about this reorganization, and the new focus of the office," said Michael Hogan, executive vice president and provost. "It shows that we're serious about diversity, and about making the most of the strong programs we already have."

"This reorganization recognizes the needs for transformation in further developing equality of educational opportunity for educationally and economically disadvantaged students on all levels in the university," said Phillip Jones, vice president for student services.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu, phone 319-335-0552, cell 319-530-6972