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U.Va. Hires Director Of Office Of Equal Opportunity Programs

July 26, 2005 -- Darlene Scott-Scurry is the new director of the University of Virginia’s Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, beginning Aug. 15. She comes to U.Va. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she held a similar position, implementing the school’s first comprehensive Affirmative Action plan.

Scott-Scurry is an attorney with more than 15 years of experience with legal counseling in higher education and government. She began her work at UMKC in 2000 as chief of staff to the provost. She set up the first Office for Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action, which previously had been part of another department, in 2003. Her duties included developing relevant policies to ensure compliance with federal requirements, setting up training for search committees and information sessions on sexual harassment, and developing solutions to workplace disputes.

Scott-Scurry’s additional experience comes from several jobs she held in Washington, D.C., prior to moving to Kansas City. As deputy executive officer for intergovernmental and legal affairs with the District of Columbia Courts in Washington from 1990-2000, she advised the head of the organization on legal and labor issues. She also served as a liaison to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Congress, the mayor’s office and the D.C. City Council. In addition, she worked in the general counsel’s office at the University of the District of Columbia from 1981-2000 and was promoted to general counsel. For the last two of those years, Scott-Scurry also taught as an adjunct professor.

“She seemed to me to have an unusually strong background for this position, as well as a genuine commitment to equity in the workplace and in the classroom,” said U.Va. President John T. Casteen III. “This job requires thorough grounding in the administrative processes by which laws and policies are implemented, successful prior experience — because research-intensive universities pose complex challenges — and a range of human strengths, not least of them habits of fairness, persistence and compassion. The search committee and I believe that we have found the right person in Ms. Scott-Scurry, and we are pleased that she is coming.

“At the same time,” Casteen added, “I want to thank our ombudsman, Brad Holland, for his distinguished service as interim EOP director. He leaves a vigorous and well-respected office for his successor, and he deserves our gratitude.”The national search for a new EOP director yielded a large, highly competitive applicant pool, said Gertrude Fraser, vice provost for faculty advancement, who headed the search committee. Fraser said Scott-Scurry’s ability to listen and make sound judgments and decisions based on legal and other knowledge of the field of affirmative action made her a strong candidate.

“Her recommenders said her decisions were always on the mark. They had complete trust in her; she garners that level of confidence,” Fraser said. “I look forward to working with her.”

Scott-Scurry said she remembered touring Charlottesville and the University when she worked in Washington. The U.Va. job seemed ideal for her, she said, considering her duties and accomplishments at UMKC.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity and look forward to working with the staff,” she said. “I plan to listen and learn, find out what people expect of the office and make an assessment of what we can do to advance the University’s goals.”

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Scott-Scurry graduated from Clark Atlanta University and American University’s Washington College of Law.

Contact: Anne Bromley, (434) 924-6861

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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