Monday, September 12, 2022
New Liz Tovar

To the members of our Hawkeye community, welcome back to the University of Iowa! I hope the first few weeks of school have been excellent. Like many others, I have felt a renewed energy on campus as I meet and speak to individuals from all over our country and the world.  

I am reminded that our university is a community of diverse perspectives, and these perspectives are what make us strong. Meeting new people can be reinvigorating but can also lead to challenging conversations. These conversations are what make us better people. Respecting our differences is how we grow. These differences help us understand issues from another viewpoint and expand our thinking.  

How we approach, respect, and listen to each other helps define our community. It is up to us to ask ourselves what kind of community we want to be a part of, then work to build this community. I encourage you to reach out, get to know as many people as possible, and respect the differences that make us all great.  

This month we kick off our celebration of Latinx/a/o Heritage Month. Starting on September 15th, we will share stories from all across campus to celebrate our Latinx/a/o students, faculty, and staff. For now, I have pulled a great story from last year about University of Iowa student Bianca Robles-Muñoz, called "Thriving outside of her comfort zone." I encourage you to read it and prepare for more great stories to come! 

We have also launched our Heritage and Identity Celebrations page. Here you can learn about the heritage months, days, and identity acknowledgments the University of Iowa unifies. These recognitions are an opportunity for all community members to celebrate and learn more about the histories and contributions of our diverse communities. We hope our page will provide a resource for departments and colleges across campus.   

Additionally, I congratulate Lew Montgomery for representing the University of Iowa in the Big 10 Black Alumni of the Year. The award celebrates Black alums and pioneers from each Big 10 school who have made a significant and lasting impact in their professional field.  

We have a message to the HR Community from OIE for faculty and staff. It covers the quarterly Harassment Prevention Education. Please contact OIE via email with any questions/concerns (

I also encourage you to see Unshakeable Belief, which will be showing at Film Scene from September 9th-16th. It is a story about former University of Iowa Athletic Director Dr. Christine Grant’s work to build equal opportunities for women in college athletics.  

Here we go! Let’s have a great semester and grow together as Hawkeyes! Please contact me anytime, as I am always happy to help. 

Go Hawks! 

Liz Tovar, executive officer and associate vice president 
Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.