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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 7, 2005

UI Joins Diversity Focus To Improve Corridor Diversity

The University of Iowa is joining with numerous other businesses and organizations in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City corridor in the creation of Diversity Focus, a non-profit organization devoted to enhancing diversity in the corridor community.

The charter group plans to contribute $1.9 million over the next five years to finance Diversity Focus, and will seek funding for an additional $1.1 million from other supporters. Other charter sponsors of Diversity Focus include Alliant Energy, ACT, the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, the City of Cedar Rapids, Guaranty Bank, Kirkwood Community College and Rockwell Collins.

At a press conference held at the African American Museum and Cultural Center in Cedar Rapids, Clay Jones, chairman and chief executive officer of Rockwell Collins, speaking for the founding members said, "This initiative is the latest in a series of cooperative ventures between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City to enhance the vitality of our region and sustain economic growth. The charter sponsors of Diversity Focus with me today understand the importance of attracting and retaining talented people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and geographies. Diversity Focus will play a key role by leveraging our existing activities to promote an inclusive community that values the benefits of diversity."

Diversity Focus will communicate, promote and create awareness in the corridor that diversity is valued, will serve as an information clearinghouse by creating a resource center that leverages the many products, capabilities and work of organizations supporting diversity; and will advance new ideas and opportunities to build a diverse community.

A board of directors with representatives from the charter sponsor organizations, as well as other individuals representing special interest organizations will oversee Diversity Focus. Michael Hogan, vice president and provost of the University of Iowa, will serve as the university's representative on the Diversity Focus board.

One of the first actions of the Board will be to select a full-time executive director and a location in downtown Cedar Rapids for the Diversity Focus office with a targeted date of December 2005 to begin operations.

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