Partnership With Human Resources and Diversity Brings Changes to Affirmative Action


Return to Issue of Feb. 22, 2010 

 

Dr. Alfreda Brown
The responsibilities of the new vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion include some areas that are currently handled by the Affirmative Action office. In order to make a smooth transition, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alfreda Brown and Vice President for Human Resources Willis Walker have collaborated on a plan to share the functions of the Affirmative Action office and better meet the needs of faculty, staff and students.

The plan realigns some of the current affirmative action responsibilities, including assessing diversity in the retention and recruitment of faculty and staff. Under the new plan, Affirmative Action and Diversity will share the responsibility for overseeing diversity in the recruitment of faculty, including position request authorizations (PRAs) and waivers. The Affirmative Action office will continue to oversee recruitment, PRAs and waivers for classified and unclassified positions.

Brown says sharing this function will help her office achieve one of its goals. “My role at Kent State is to help bring clarity to the definition of inclusive excellence as it relates to creating an enhanced and welcoming environment,” says Brown. “Part of that process is to ensure we attract and retain a diverse group of faculty, staff and students.”

Walker adds that as he and Brown developed the plan, it made sense to move some of the Affirmative Action diversity-related functions to the new area. “Even though these units will be housed in different divisions, there will be a great deal of sharing of information and partnering,” he says. “The ultimate goal is to optimize our resources, increase our efficiency and make this change seamless to our customers.”

The changes are highlighted below and took effect Feb. 15:

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The diverse recruitment and retention of faculty mentioned above will be led by Judith Brooks, formerly the manager of HR Talent Acquisition. Brooks will be the faculty retention and recruitment manager and can be reached at
jbrook10@kent.edu.

The Diversity division will also be responsible for:

  • Handling all requests for reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities, as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This includes requests made by faculty, staff or students.
  • Training and development programs related to ADA, diversity, recruitment and retention; and
  • Providing support to colleges and divisions to ensure implementation of the affirmative action plan.

Belinda Duncan, formerly with Affirmative Action, will be the equal opportunity and diversity training manager. She can be reached at bduncan8@kent.edu.

Human Resources
Affirmative Action
The Affirmative Action office (AA) will share responsibility with Diversity for the recruiting- related areas mentioned above. Other functions that will remain with the Affirmative Action office include:

  • Investigation of all informal and formal reports of unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment;
  • Training and development programs for unlawful discrimination;
  • Collection of data from colleges and divisions for the university’s Affirmative Action Plan;
  • Ensuring university compliance with the ADA; and
  • Ensuring compliance with all regional, state, federal and university reporting guidelines.

The AA office will remain in Terrace Hall and will be led by Tiffany Murray, director, and Jacque Glinn, manger, Human Resources Compliance.

For additional information or if you have questions, contact the Affirmative Action office at 330-672-2038 or aa_eeo@kent.edu.

Return to Issue of Feb. 22, 2010 


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