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January 24, 2005
EOP shifts to provost's office
BY michael terrazas
Provost Earl Lewis announced last month that he is shifting the reporting line for the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP) from the Office of the General Counsel to the Office of the Provost.
More changes are likely in store for EOP in the coming months, Lewis said, but for now the shift in reporting lines means the office’s “autonomy and neutrality can be realized and maximized to their fullest.” A portion of EOP’s duties—those dealing with complaints under federal equal opportunity laws—will remain in the general counsel’s office, with coordination when appropriate with EOP staff.
“I think this is where this kind of office should be located,” said EOP Vice President Robert Ethridge, referring to his new adminstrative home in the provost’s office. “It gives us more credibility from an academic perspective; it demonstrates a sensitivity toward and awareness of the academic culture.”
Other EOP services, such as equity and access, disability services, affirmative action and hiring processes, and in-service training and outreach, will remain with the office while Lewis conducts a more thorough review to determine whether further changes are necessary. In last year’s external review of Emory’s EOP structure, these services were singled out by the review team as areas that should be explored to determine whether they should all be grouped under a single administrative heading.
Disability services, for example, is one area for which other universities have a dedicated office. Lewis said the University of Minnesota has such an office that handles disability issues for faculty, staff and students.
Other schools, such as Lewis’ former employer, the University of Michigan, have disability offices more attuned to student needs.
Ethridge said EOP handled disability services partly because there were no other volunteers when the need began to arise at Emory over the past couple decades. He said his office will work with the provost to review EOP’s duties to determine whether any services need to be delegated to another office.
First on the agenda, Lewis said, is to hire a senior vice provost for community and institutional development. This individual would oversee EOP, and Lewis said he hopes to fill the position before the start of the 2005–06 academic