Search continues for a director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

Regina Garcia Cano

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action will have a new director by the end of September.

Steve Michael, the vice provost for diversity, said the university has been looking actively to replace the former director, Willie Boston, after he passed away in the summer.

“That is a very important position as regarded within the university,” Michael said. “It handles all the affirmative action compliance and related complaints.”

Tiffany Murray, the director of human resource information systems, records, compliance and employee relations, is managing all issues related to the office until a director is appointed.

Willis Walker, the interim vice president for human resources and chief university counsel, said a search committee is in place and the final decision will be made soon. Talent Management Director Joseph Vitale is the chairman of the committee.

“I want the candidate to have significant experience in affirmative action procedures, policies (and) the laws related to those types of matters,” Walker said. “Also, I want the candidate to understand what the Kent State missions and objectives are in relationship to diversity.”

Walker said President Lester Lefton has clearly indicated his goal to make the university as diverse as possible.

In addition, Michael said the university is searching for someone with an international perspective.

“It must be somebody who can translate affirmative action issues into diversity in education, somebody who has knowledge of the world, at least some historical understanding of the civil rights laws and history, and the protected classes,” Michael said.

Candidates for the director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action position:

&bull Belinda Duncan: currently working as a consultant for Cleveland Clinic Office of


&bull James McElroy: currently employed at No Trial Ltd. in Akron.

&bull Adam Morrison: retired Senior Equal Opportunity Advisor for the United States Army.

&bull Stephanie Surrat: currently a contract technician at Lesco/John Deere Landscapes in Cleveland.

&bull Kenneth White: former executive director of the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission.

Contact minority affairs reporter Regina Garcia Cano at [email protected].