Tuesday, July 20, 2021

OIE logo

In April, the University of Iowa announced it was forming a new Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) under the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DDEI) to streamline the process of reporting bias, harassment, discrimination, equity, free speech, and sexual misconduct concerns.

Effective July 1 the Office of Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator (OSMRC), the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD), and two investigators of the Office of Student Accountability (OSA) related to Title IX complaints merged to become the OIE. Working together, the three units will provide a centralized complaint investigative team, a coordinated intake and record-keeping process, and improved response times to investigations.

“I want to thank the staff of all three units as we work together to provide an effective reporting and response mechanism for our students, faculty, and staff to address reports of bias, harassment, discrimination, equity, free speech, and sexual misconduct,” said Liz Tovar, executive officer and associate vice president of DDEI.

Under the direction of Tovar, the OIE will be led by three directors:

  • Monique DiCarlo will manage all Title IX oversight as the director of Title IX and gender equity.
  • Jennifer Modestou will serve as the director of equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and compliance.
  • Tiffini Stevenson Earl will be the director of equity investigations and ADA compliance.

OIE will maintain the existing staff positions that once reported to EOD and OSMRC, but those department names will no longer be used. In addition, a new position is being added to assist with the processing of sexual misconduct


In August, the new process for reporting concerns and the steps the OIE will take to respond will be announced. Until the transition is complete, all concerns can be reported through the existing online locations.

  • Sexual misconduct response: click here
  • Discrimination, harassment, equal opportunity, and diversity concerns: click here
  • Campus inclusion team for student DEI concerns:  click here
  • Resources: click here


April 29, 2021

UI Office of Institutional Equity centralizes reporting, investigation for civil rights, Title IX, equity concerns

The University of Iowa is taking action to streamline the process to report free speech violations, bias, discrimination, equity, and sexual misconduct. 

The university is establishing an Office of Institutional Equity to centralize reporting, investigation, and support services for all civil rights, sexual misconduct, and Title IX concerns within the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DDEI).

The change comes after the DDEI received feedback from the campus community. Recently, 12 hour-long “Journey to Unity” listening sessions were attended by 83 students, faculty, and staff selected by their college and unit leadership. Five areas of emphasis consistently surfaced:

  • Expand the training of free speech and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) understanding 
  • Strengthen accountability in upholding institutional values
  • Increase listening in the campus community and tell Iowa’s DEI stories
  • Expand campus leadership DEI engagement and commitment to growth
  • Actively build the Iowa City community as welcoming for all

“One consistent theme revealed in recent listening sessions was improving our ability to address civil rights, Title IX, and equity issues on campus,” stated Liz Tovar, executive officer and associate vice president, Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “We will begin the process to align all our assets to provide effective and efficient support for the entire campus community.”

The new office will incorporate the current Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, the Office of Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator, and aspects of the Office of Student Accountability related to Title IX complaints and investigations. The office will leverage the combined expertise of these teams to better address the needs of the institution through:

  • A single, centralized complaint investigative team;
  • Coordinating intake and record-keeping; and
  • Improving response times to investigations.

 The new office will be formed throughout the spring and summer semesters, and the reorganization will be complete in August 2021. Additional action items from the “Journey to Unity” listening sessions will be announced in the coming weeks and months.