Director, Equal Opportunity and Access & Title IX Coordinator

Director, Equal Opportunity and Access and Title IX Coordinator
Position Description

The Director of Equal Opportunity and Access (OEOA) and Title IX Coordinator serves as a senior administrative official responsible for University-wide programs, policies, and procedures designed to ensure equal employment opportunity, non-discrimination and equal access, and oversight of affirmative action reporting. The Director also serves as an advisor to the President, conducts special projects and studies, and represents the President's positions and directives to various constituents related to issues of discrimination, harassment, diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity, affirmative action, and access.

Working under the supervision of the President of Illinois State University, the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (OEOA) oversees the University's program to prevent, detect, and respond appropriately to complaints of harassment and discrimination in violation of University policy and applicable state and federal law including the Civil Rights Act, ADA, Title IX, and Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act.

About Illinois State University

On February 18, 1857, Governor William Bissell of Illinois signed a bill creating a normal school and establishing the Board of Education of the State of Illinois as its governing body. The bill stipulated that the permanent location would be the place that offered the most favorable inducements. Jesse W. Fell took up the campaign for Bloomington and obtained financial backing totaling $141,000. Abraham Lincoln, acting as attorney for the Board, drew up the bond guaranteeing the Bloomington citizens would fulfill their financial pledges. Illinois State University was consequently founded as the first public institution of higher education in the state.

Established as a teacher education institution, Illinois State has developed into a multipurpose university with degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Six colleges offer approximately 174 undergraduate majors, 97 master’s programs, 17 doctoral degrees, and 40 certificate options. In addition, the university has received approval from the Illinois Board of Higher Education for the creation of a new College of Engineering that will enroll its first cohort of students in Fall 2025. One of 12 public universities in Illinois, the alumni base has now grown to more than 220,000. All initiatives are guided by Educate • Connect • Elevate: Illinois State—The Strategic Plan for Illinois’ First Public University 2018-2023. The document details the University’s seven core values: Learning and Scholarship, Diversity and Inclusion, Respect, Collaboration, Individualized Attention, Civic Engagement, and Integrity. They combine to make Illinois State an institution with large-school opportunities and a small-school feel. Personalized attention is the focal point at the University, which lives its motto of “Gladly we learn and teach.”

Enrollment for fall 2022 was 20,683 students. Illinois State’s students appreciate the average 19:1 student-faculty ratio. Professors teach in the classroom, mentor, and partner with both undergraduates and graduates in research endeavors. Within the faculty, 98 percent hold a terminal degree in their field. Additional examples of excellence include Illinois State placing 53rd on the 2022-2023 U.S. News & World Report Best Value Schools rankings. Students return to campus and complete their degrees, as shown by the fact the University’s retention rate is among the highest in the nation at nearly 80 percent. Graduation rates are near 70 percent. These retention and graduation rates place ISU in the top 10 percent of all public universities nationwide. Illinois State is also praised for providing an affordable education, with Washington Monthly honoring the University as one of the Best Bang for the Buck Colleges in the Midwest. There are many other reasons that reveal Illinois State’s competitive advantage as a premier undergraduate institution—from record-breaking fundraising to student civic engagement and scholarly breakthroughs. Each explains the reason Illinois State University is “Redbird Proud.”

Illinois State affirms and encourages community belonging and a respect for differences. The University fosters an inclusive environment characterized by cultural understanding and engagement, ethical behavior, and a commitment to social justice. The University supports a diverse faculty and staff who mentor a diverse student population. The institution endeavors to provide opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to participate productively in a global society and be civically engaged.

Campus diversity at Illinois State increasingly reflects the nation’s changing demographics. In the 2022- 2023 academic year, 37 percent of the freshman class came from traditionally underrepresented groups. Over the past five years, there has been a 14 percent increase in African American students and a 9 percent increase in Latinx students. Students are mentored by a faculty that includes numerous teacher-scholars recognized at national and international levels, all dedicated to superior teaching.


Dr. Aondover Tarhule, Interim President

  • Tarhule joined Illinois State University in 2020 as vice president for academic affairs and provost and currently serves as interim president. His immediate prior administrative appointment was vice provost and dean of the Graduate School at Binghamton University (State University of New York). Before that, he was executive associate dean and department chair in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. In these positions, he worked on creating new academic programs, increasing student enrollment, increasing diversity, faculty retention, shared governance, and international partnerships and linkages amongst other things.
  • Having earned master's degrees and a doctoral degree in geography from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Tarhule received a post-doctoral fellowship from the Canadian Science Advisory Council to conduct research at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Tarhule earned an additional master’s degree in environmental resources planning and a bachelor’s degree in geography, both from the University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria.
  • A broadly trained physical geographer, Dr. Tarhule has wide-ranging research interests in hydroclimatic variability, droughts, water resources scarcity, and climate information dissemination and use. His scholarly research has appeared in prestigious international journals, including Nature (Scientific Reports, Climate Perspectives), Journal of Hydrology, Remote Sensing, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, and book chapters. His efforts as principal investigator (PI) or co-PI have resulted in more than $5 million in grants from such agencies as the National Science Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development, the National Institute of Health, and the United States Geological Survey. He has served on the editorial board of the Scientific World Journal, the African Geographical Review and as guest editor on several journals including Remote Sensing, Atmosphere, and Climate Research.
  • Tarhule has served on committees of prominent national and international organizations, including as consultant to the World Bank (Climate Risk Assessment of the Niger River Basin Sustainable Development Action Plan) and member of the Executive Committee of the Board on Oceans, Atmosphere, and Climate, and Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. He is a member of the College of Mentors of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and an Executive Board Member of the Walker Institute, University of Reading, in England.

Dr. Ani Yazedjian, Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

  • Ani Yazedjian, University Professor, joined the Office of the Provost in 2019 as associate provost and currently serves as acting vice president for academic affairs and provost. In her role as associate provost, Yazedjian oversaw new program development through the Illinois Board of Higher Education, institutional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, and was actively involved in the creation of the new College of Engineering. On campus, she supervised the Center for Civic Engagement, the Office of International Education, and University Assessment Services. Yazedjian served on the university strategic planning steering team and the COVID-19 steering team.
  • Yazedjian has also served as chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Illinois State. As chair, she led the increase in the number of degree programs in the department, developed the first accelerated master’s degree programs on campus, created a new online dietetic internship certificate, increased student enrollment, oversaw over $1 million in equipment and facilities upgrades, and secured donor contributions for five new scholarships. She was named a University Professor in 2013 and received the University’s Distinguished Service Award in 2023.
  • Over the last two decades, Dr. Yazedjian has received over $7 million to support her scholarly interests in delivering evidence-based programs to support adolescent development. Most recently, between 2015 and 2020, she directed the CARE4U program which provided over 1,100 primarily African American and Hispanic youth with relationship education, job readiness and financial management skills in order to support their successful transition to adulthood. In 2021, she received the Marie F. Peters Award from the National Council on Family Relations, a biennial recognition given to a distinguished scholar, researcher, or practitioner who has made significant contributions to the area of racial and ethnic diversity in families.
  • Prior to her time at Illinois State, Dr. Yazedjian was a faculty member in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Texas State University. In 2010, she was appointed as Presidential Fellow where she served on the President’s Cabinet and focused on developing and implementing internationalization efforts across campus. She earned a doctorate and master’s degree in human and community development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Florida.
  • Nationally, Dr. Yazedjian has served in leadership roles with the National Council on Family Relations, the Council for Accreditation of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, and the Council for Administrators in Family and Consumer Sciences. She was selected by the Higher Education Resource Services for the Wellesley Institute, which develops women leaders in higher education.
  • In the local community, she has been involved with the Family and Consumer Science Professionals of McLean County and volunteered with Junior Achievement. She also served for six years on the Board of the Multicultural Leadership Institute and continues to serve as mentor


Illinois State University is located in the Central Illinois community of Bloomington-Normal, which has a combined population of 132,000. These twin cities are also home to Illinois Wesleyan University, Lincoln College, Heartland Community College, OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Carle BroMenn Medical Center, Rivian Motors, COUNTRY Financial, and State Farm Insurance Corporate Headquarters. The community has distinguished itself for its outstanding school systems and educational attainment, parks and recreation, health care, job growth, economic opportunity, and low crime. Illinois State partners with companies in the area and our students have opportunities to intern at several large companies headquartered in Bloomington-Normal or nearby. 

The vibrant twin cities provide a high quality of life and Normal is ranked a Top 10 Best College Towns in America for a reason. In addition to all the activities the University offers, there are bustling retail districts, many local dining, cultural, and entertainment options with concerts, theatrical performances, and festivals to attend in every season. The area also has ample leisure activities with five public golf courses in the area, several lakes, and over 45 miles of the hard-surfaced Constitution Trail which is easily accessible from campus and throughout Bloomington-Normal.

Bloomington-Normal is centrally located in Illinois (in the Middle of Everything with major cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis and easy drive or Amtrak train trip away. Public transportation systems make the community easily accessible, with an Amtrak and bus station within blocks of campus and a regional airport that makes air travel a breeze (and even offers free parking). For more information on our community, please visit

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Leads the OEOA, supervises staff of investigators and other office personnel and oversees case management for the office;
  • Serves as the University Title IX Coordinator and oversees all aspects of University, agency, state, and federal law including but not limited to Title IX and Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act;
  • Oversees a University-wide program to prevent, detect, and appropriately respond to violations of University policy and applicable law related to anti-harassment and non-discrimination;
  • Oversees enforcement and reporting related to anti-harassment and non-discrimination statutes;
  • Oversees OEOA investigations of alleged discrimination and harassment; advises individuals on the complaint process, available resources, and interim measures, if appropriate; plans the investigation processes, conducts interviews, identifies and collects relevant documentation, analyzes evidence, drafts investigation reports, issues findings and determinations, recommends remedial action and maintains accurate and complete investigative files;
  • Oversees process for determining employee ADA accommodations and consults upon request regarding student ADA accommodations;
  • Develops periodic updates to University ADA policies and procedures;
  • Serves as an integral member of the President's staff advising other officers on all issues related to fostering an inclusive campus environment;
  • Serves as an advisor to the President, conducts special projects and studies, and represents the President's positions and directives to various constituents related to issues of discrimination, harassment, diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity, affirmative action, and access;
  • Develops and facilitates training programs to the University community related to the Civil Rights Act, Title IX, the Rehabilitation Act, Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act, Illinois Human Rights Act, and any other applicable nondiscrimination statutes and regulations;
  • Manages all aspects of federal Affirmative Action requirements including the development and implementation of the University's annual Affirmative Action Plan;
  • Develops and updates metrics, audit protocols, and controls to measure compliance with Affirmative Action Plan requirements;
  • Advises and collaborates with Human Resources on affirmative action recruiting sources and outreach strategies for vacancies, particularly for underutilized positions/groups. Assists with the development and implementation of effective training programs for search committees and others involved in recruitment activities;
  • Develops communication plan to disseminate information to University employees about the EEO/AA program;
  • Identifies and develops relationships with key organizations and associations with a focus on creating a more diverse employee population;
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master's, Doctorate, or Juris Doctorate degree;
  • Five (5) or more years of experience interpreting and applying internal policies and state and federal nondiscrimination law including but not limited to, the Civil Rights Act and Title IX;
  • Five (5) or more years of experience investigating formal and informal complaints of sexual harassment, harassment, retaliation and discrimination;
  • Three (3) or more years of experience complying with the reporting requirements of external agencies in areas such as affirmative action, equal employment opportunity, sexual harassment/violence, and the Clery Act;
  • Knowledge of the statistical analysis used in workforce analytics and reporting;
  • Three (3) or more years of progressive supervisory experience including excellent leadership, planning, organizational and managerial skills, and proven ability to perform as a team player;
  • Demonstrated awareness of the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion, and support for a diverse and welcoming environment;
  • Demonstrated ability to assess campus-wide training needs, and to develop and implement meaningful and innovative educational programing for faculty, staff, and students relating to diversity, inclusion, and civil rights compliance.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Law Degree from an accredited law school or advanced degree in a relevant field;
  • Prior experience leading an AA/EEO office;
  • Prior experience working in higher education;
  • Experience reviewing and drafting policy and procedure documents relating to state and federal nondiscrimination laws;
  • Work experience related to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or similar state and federal standards (e.g., determining reasonable accommodations, facilities accessibility, Standards of Accessible Design).

Nomination and Application Process

The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, full resume/CV, and contact information of at least five references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm by July 1, 2023. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. For additional information, please contact:

Porsha Williams, Vice President
Erin Raines, Senior Principal
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875
Atlanta, GA 30328
770-804-1996 ext.: 117 ||

An equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.