OEOC Announces New Hires, Promotions
Staff changes at the University of Arkansas' Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance better support the office's charge to ensure the fair and equal treatment of all individuals on campus. J'onnelle Colbert-Diaz was recently promoted to associate director; April Daniel was hired as assistant director; and Wayne Bell was hired as training coordinator. Additionally, Melanie Chandler, the office's equal opportunity specialist, has been given expanded job duties.
Under the leadership of Danielle L. Williams, assistant vice chancellor and director of OEOC, the five-person office provides guidance and monitors the university community to encourage fair and equal treatment of all individuals in the processes that affect education and employment. The office enforces all federal and state laws and regulations as well as university policies and procedures related to civil rights, equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination.
"I'm excited about our new team and their extraordinary knowledge and skills," Williams said. "I look forward to working with them as we engage the campus community to proactively advance the university's initiatives to create a more inclusive educational and work environment."
In her role as associate director, Colbert-Diaz serves as the university's compliance officer and the American with Disabilities Act coordinator. She also oversees the processes for reporting and resolving concerns of discrimination and requests for disability and religious accommodations, as well as providing training to students, faculty and staff.
A U of A alumna, Colbert-Diaz joined the office in 2007, serving as the equal employment opportunity grievance officer before being promoted to the assistant director in 2014. Colbert-Diaz received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Arkansas.
Colbert-Diaz will also co-chair the Disability Services Committee and the Electronic and Information Technology Committee. Both committees are aimed at furthering the university's efforts in ADA compliance. Colbert-Diaz also continues to work with the university's ERP Implementation Team to prepare the institution's move to Workday.
As assistant director, Daniel serves as the university's grievance officer, coordinating the staff grievance procedure and all related training. She also monitors the recruitment process to ensure non-discriminatory employee hiring and promotion practices and will continue to serve as Title IX investigator in an interim role.
Daniel received her bachelor's degree in political science from LeMoyne-Owen College and has more than 10 years of expertise in the fair and due process of individuals involved in sensitive subject matters. Her professional background includes roles as an administrative review officer, education investigator and law enforcement officer.
Chandler, who has served in the office since June 2019 as the equal opportunity specialist, has expanded job duties that include assisting in recruitment, reporting and ADA efforts.
Chandler, a U of A alumna, joined the university in 2017. Prior to beginning her work with the OEOC, Chandler worked as a staff member in multiple departments at the university and held numerous roles within the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Children and Family Services in Washington County. Chandler received a Bachelor of Social Work in 2015 from the U of A School of Social Work.
In his role as training coordinator, Bell works with the appropriate trainers, information technology staff and others to coordinate OEOC trainings on topics such as discrimination, search committees, the Americans with Disabilities Act and grievances.
Bell received his bachelor's degree in communication from Arkansas State University and his master's degree from the University of Arkansas. His varied background includes working with Hilton Hotels Worldwide, the Walt Disney Company and Burlington Northern Santa-Fe, among others, leading to a combined 13 years of training and education experience.
John Post, director of academic communications
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