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Updated 11:30 AM October 27, 2003
 

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New Office for Institutional Equity gets experienced leader


U-M's assistant provost and senior director for institutional equity brings a wealth of experience from a similar position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Provost Paul N. Courant and Chief Financial Officer Timothy Slottow said in announcing the appointment of Anthony Walesby to the post, pending approval by the Board of Regents.

(Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services)

Walesby, who will assume his new position at the University Nov. 1, will be the first to serve as the leader of a newly created Office for Institutional Equity, which combines the staff and programs currently in the Office of a Multicultural Community, Equity and Diversity Services and the Gender Equity and Sexual Harassment Policy Office.

Walesby currently is associate director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access and is an assistant provost at Illinois. His duties are very similar to those in the new U-M position, Courant said. At Michigan he will provide oversight of University policies and procedures with regard to discrimination and harassment; create and deliver programs for faculty, staff and students that will aim to prevent discrimination and harassment of all kinds; and promote inclusiveness and an ethical work environment.

“Anthony Walesby brings the perfect blend of experience and commitment. He has been an effective investigator of complaints of discrimination and harassment, and has been a leader in creative programming that prevents problems from arising in the first place,” Courant said.

Walesby serves some 38,000 students and 10,000 employees as the University of Illinois’ grievance officer for internally filed civil rights complaints. He is the university’s representative and liaison before all federal and state civil rights enforcement agencies, and he oversees the university’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. He also assists in developing and updating the university’s affirmative action plan.

Barbara Butterfield, associate vice president for Human Resources and Affirmative Action, said Walesby’s breadth of experience will serve U-M well as it moves forward with coordinating functions that once were separate.

“Under Anthony Walesby’s able guidance, the University can coordinate, under one office, issues of discrimination and harassment based on race, disability, age, gender and sexual orientation, which often overlap,” Butterfield said. “We believe the new structure will better serve the campus by making the services easier to access and by emphasizing outreach programs.”

Part of the outreach effort will involve development of climate surveys, ongoing data analyses and reports to measure effectiveness of policies and programs, she said.

“Walesby’s experience as the leader in policy-making, as a coordinator of educational initiatives, and as an investigator of allegations of discrimination and harassment, make him the ideal person to help promote a greater cross-cultural understanding in the University community,” said Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs and senior counselor to the president for the arts, diversity and undergraduate affairs.

Walesby said the merging of the offices was a good decision and he looks forward to being the first to “shape how the new program is viewed by the campus.” He said one advantage to taking the position here is the University’s reputation with regard to issues of inclusion, respect and civil rights, including its defense of affirmative action at the Supreme Court of the United States.

“Even outside of the two cases, nationally Michigan is known as an excellent institution—as a great place to work and learn,” Walesby said.

Prior to his appointment at Illinois, Walesby spent nearly 10 years as a federal investigator for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Chicago and Washington, D.C.
He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and history, summa cum laude, from Illinois State University. His master’s degree in educational policy studies is from the University of Illinois, where he currently is enrolled in a doctoral program in higher education administration.

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