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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 7, 2007

Modestou named director of Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity

Jennifer Modestou has been named director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD) at the University of Iowa.

As director, Modestou will ensure that the UI's employment policies and programs comply with all local, state and federal regulations and laws through monitoring and educating the university community and reviewing search processes. She will oversee the UI's Affirmative Action Plan, along with reports to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, and other federal and state civil rights agencies.

The appointment is part of a new structure that consolidates and focuses the UI's diversity efforts, according to Marcella David, special assistant to the president for equal opportunity and diversity and associate provost for diversity.

"This reorganization will strengthen our programming and support for faculty, staff and students and all members of the university community," David said. "I am delighted Jennifer has agreed to serve as director of EOD, which will benefit from her expertise and her commitment to diversity and equity."

As special assistant to the president and associate provost, David will provide administrative oversight of the EOD office and the Center for Diversity and Enrichment (CDE). Operational authority for EOD will rest with Modestou. A similar restructuring of the CDE is underway and expected to be completed in the near future.

Modestou will provide support in the areas of compliance, educational outreach, diversity and inclusion. Under the guidance of Modestou, the EOD office plans to strengthen its ability to monitor faculty and staff searches for equity, collect data for various reports, investigate complaints of discrimination or harassment, comply with disability laws, and expand outreach and education.

Modestou has worked in the EOD since 1992. Prior to her appointment as director, she served as director of campus relations in the office. Modestou served as interim director of the office on two occasions: first in fiscal year 2002 following the departure of former director Susan Mask, and second during fiscal year 2006 following the departure of former director Charlotte Westerhaus.

Modestou received a Bachelor of Arts degree (with honors) in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. The Society of Human Resources Management has certified her as a senior professional in human resources. In addition to her position at the UI, she serves as state coordinator for Region VII of the American Association for Affirmative Action.

In keeping with the UI's goal to increase the diversity of all university faculty, staff and students, the EOD office strives to foster a welcoming and collaborative university climate where individual ideas, contributions, and goals are acknowledged, respected, and valued.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Marcella David, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 319-335-0705,; Jennifer Modestou, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 319-335-0705,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,