Search begins for director of Office of Equal Opportunity

Audra Kincart

Iowa State started a national search for a new director for the Office of Equal Opportunity.

Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost, and Calli Sanders, senior associate athletics director for sports administration, are leading the search committee.

“That office manages all the different aspects of equal opportunity programs and affirmative action programs for the university,” Bratsch-Prince said. “That would include the university is in compliance with all the different laws with affirmative action and equal opportunity.”

Bratsch-Prince went on to explain that the Office of Equal Opportunity does a variety of other tasks including investigating Title IX complaints and aiming to resolve them through co-working with other units on campus and ensuring the university is true to what it says.

The Office of Equal Opportunity is also in charge of all the diversity training for faculty and staff.

“It’s really a partnership; we work together to identify areas we can improve,” Bratsch-Prince said.

Maureen De Armond, member of the search committee and associate counsel, explained the importance of the Office of Equal Opportunity.

“Those policies are important to ensure we don’t have unlawful discrimination of hiring students and admission of students,” De Armond said. “Affirmative Action is more of a policy that strives to help us with diversity in our employment purposes as well.”

De Armond also said the Office of Equal Opportunity works hand-in-hand with the ISU Police Department and Student Affairs to investigate reports of violent acts on campus, including sexual assault.

De Armond said the difference between the vice president of diversity and inclusion and the role of the Office of Equal Opportunity is the Office of Equal Opportunity takes on more of an investigative component.

“I would envision the chief diversity officer looking more at strategy and goals and community building,” De Armond said. “[The Office of Equal Opportunity] does do education and outreach, but I think their time is limited on the extent they can do those things on a proactive basis.”

The search committee is looking for a candidate with experience in higher education and wants a diverse pool of about 20 candidates.

The applications are being reviewed Monday and finalists will be brought to campus around the end of January and beginning of February.