Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018

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Laura Myers

Featured Stories

New faces, focus at Institutional Equity

Three-part series to introduce changes to University office

It has been a busy academic year at Institutional Equity, with new staff members, and a recommitted focus to the faculty and staff of Ohio University.

The Office for Institutional Equity is charged with monitoring the University’s compliance with federal, state and institutional policy guidelines that promote a non-discriminatory and harassment-free environment.

"We are here to serve the entire University--faculty, staff and students of the Athens campus and regional campuses," said Executive Director Laura Myers. "A basic aspect of serving the campus community is for us to remind everyone why we’re here and the services we offer."

Ohio University Compass will feature a three-part series detailing these changes and introducing readers to the people behind them.

New employees
Next week, Compass will introduce Assistant Director for Employee Accommodations and Campus Accessibility Darrell Purdy.

Purdy took over the newly created role less than a month ago, but he has already begun to strategize his goals.

"To me, it shows a redoubling of a commitment the University made some time ago to ensure that every person who comes to Ohio University experiences themselves to be welcomed, wanted and needed regardless of any disability," said Purdy. "Hidden or visible, there is an expansive variety of skills and experiences that they might bring with them when coming to campus!"

New training
The following week, Compass will feature a Q&A with Assistant Director for Civil Rights Compliance Inya Baiye.

Baiye, a lawyer, like Myers, joined the Institutional Equity staff approximately three months ago. Among her responsibilities are to ensure that the University is a safe and accommodating environment to all protected classes.

She will also be working with Myers to further faculty and staff training on Title IX.

"Many people know of the importance of Title IX as it relates to sports, but that is just a small portion of what this legislation does," said Baiye. "Part of our mandate from the Department of Education is to create a comprehensive program to instruct faculty and staff on the importance of reporting sexual violence and assault."

New focus
At the end of the month, Myers will speak directly to the University in Compass about the partnership between her office and Disability Services, how responsibilities have been divided and where the OHIO community can go to ensure a productive and safe experience at the University.

"Institutional Equity is here to advocate for continuous improvement of systems within the university which prevent discrimination and harassment and promote inclusiveness of all individuals. Institutional Equity also now has the added responsibility of coordinating employee accommodations." said Myers. "Disability Services will focus on delivering accommodations to OHIO students. However, there will occasionally be an overlap in responsibilities, which is why it’s an ongoing partnership."

Office of Disability Services

The Office of Disability Services will:

  • Coordinate accommodations and services for students with disabilities

  • Consult with eLearning to provide accessible online opportunities

  • Educate faculty and administrators on accessible practices

  • Advise OHIO Regional Campuses regarding student accessibility