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University of Iowa News Release


April 21, 2010

Potter, fourth candidate for UI Chief Diversity Officer, to speak at forum April 22

Lawrence Potter, Ph.D., executive director of institutional diversity and chief diversity officer at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., is the fourth of five people coming to the University of Iowa this month as candidates for the position of Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) and Associate Vice President (AVP).

Potter will visit campus Thursday and Friday, April 22 and 23. During a public forum at 10 a.m. Thursday in Room 351 of the Iowa Memorial Union, he will speak on “Diversity Matters: Transforming and Sustaining Diversity through Inclusive Excellence.”

One final candidate for this position will visit campus Monday and Tuesday, April 26-27, and speak at a public forum at 10 a.m. Monday, April 26 in 2520D of the University Capitol Center. Further information about the final candidate will be released prior to his or her visit.

In his current position at the University of St. Thomas, Potter reports directly to the president, coordinates and provides leadership for diversity initiatives on campus and works with the senior management team to develop an institutional vision and strategy on diversity. Prior to joining the University of St. Thomas, he was associate professor and department chairperson (Africana Studies & English) at Western Michigan University. He graduated magna cum laude with his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stillman College and earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

The search is being co-chaired by Keri Hornbuckle, professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the UI College of Engineering, and Mettie Thomopulos, health services administrator in the UI Department of Internal Medicine.

At the UI, the CDO/AVP leads and coordinates the university’s efforts in all aspects of diversity, inclusion, educational and employment equity, affirmative action, cultural understanding and competency, and civil and human rights. As CDO, the individual reports to the president and is a member of the president’s cabinet. As AVP, the individual reports to the executive vice president and provost, is a member of the provost’s cabinet, and sits on the Council of Deans.

For more information on the search and on Potter, visit

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen J. Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,