Sep 102009
 
Authors: Matt Minich

CSU’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, which oversees the university’s efforts to foster diversity on campus, has been moved out of the direct report to the office of the president and into a newly created oversight group.

The office, which has a budget of just more than $425,000 according to Jennifer Dimas, a CSU spokesperson, will now report to Senior Vice President for Administrative Services Tom Gorrell, said Roslyn Cutler, the chair of the OEOD.

Currently, complaints from university employees go to the OEOD.

The OEOD was created to fulfill the dual function of ensuring the university’s compliance with state non-discrimination and affirmative action laws and to help the university work toward its own Strategic Plan for Diversity, Cutler said.

Gorrell, who is currently out of the country, could not be reached for comment.

The Human Resources Group will also include the Department of Human Resources Services and Training and Development, CSU President Tony Frank said in an e-mail.

The organizational changes have not drastically changed business as usual at the OEOD, but have “facilitated and enhanced” communication between the office and other administrative bodies, Cutler said.

“These are offices that have always worker closely together.”

The move came after the retirement of OEOD director Dana Hiatt on July 19, which spurred the administrative reorganization as well as the creation of the university’s new Diversity Task Force.

While Frank said the office was run well under Hiatt, her retirement provided CSU with an opportunity to re-evaluate the ways in which diversity is approached at the university.

“(CSU) has to take stock of whether it is optimally positioned for future challenges and opportunities,” he said.

It is uncertain what effect the restructuring will have on university spending, Frank said.

“I think we have some major work ahead of us for our university to be the face of the society; we exist to serve and progress in some areas will likely involve expenditures,” Frank said, adding that the university’s budget constraints would likely provide a “strong counter-balance” to the need to spend in the immediate future.

The changes come at a time when CSU has been recognized by Minority Access, Inc. as a role model for diversity.

MAI, a Maryland-based organization, seeks to recognize individuals and organizations that promote a minority presence in higher education and biomedical research. Cutler will accept MAI’s Role Model award on behalf of the university at its annual conference Friday in Washington DC.

Senior Reporter Matt Minich can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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