Four finalists named in EO director search

Four finalists have been selected in the national search for Iowa State's next director of equal opportunity. They are: Sharon Abraham, director of the office of diversity and affirmative action at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti; Ellyn Bartges, director of the office for institutional equity and access at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota; Margo Foreman, associate director of the office of equal opportunity at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; and Jyl Shaffer, Title IX coordinator at the University of Cincinnati.

The four finalists will visit campus in the next couple of weeks. Each candidate's interview will include a one-hour open forum (3-4 p.m.) with the university community. Forum dates and locations are:

  • Monday, Feb. 1: Abraham, 2019 Morrill
  • Monday, Feb. 8: Bartges, 2019 Morrill
  • Thursday, Feb. 11: Foreman, 1213 Hoover
  • Monday, Feb. 15: Shaffer, 2019 Morrill

About the finalists

Abraham has led Eastern Michigan's office of diversity and affirmative action since 2006. She served as the university's interim Title IX coordinator in 2014-15. Previously, she was a self-employed human resources consultant (2004-06). She led the office of diversity and compliance at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan (1996-2002), and an Oakland program for K-12 students in eight public school academies (2002-04).

Abraham earned a bachelor's degree in organizational behavior and industrial relations and a master's in business administration (marketing), both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Bartges has served as St. Cloud State's equity and affirmative action director since 2010. Previously, she served for eight years in several capacities in the office of equal opportunity and access at Western Illinois University, Macomb (2002-10). From 1988 to 2000 she coached multiple high school girls and college women's teams in Illinois and North Carolina, primarily in softball and basketball.

Bartges earned a bachelor's degree in history (1985) from Iowa State, master's degree in history (2005) from Western Illinois, and doctoral degree in kinesiology and in cultural, pedagogical and interpretive studies (2014) from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Foreman became associate director of the office of equal opportunity at IUPUI in 2015, but she has worked in the office since 1999, starting as executive secretary to the director. She also held the positions of equal opportunity specialist and assistant director of diverse workforce recruitment and retention. She was an adjunct faculty member in the university's school of engineering and technology and school of public health (2014-15).

Foreman earned a bachelor's degree in general studies (concentration in social behavior science), and a master's degree in public health, both from IUPUI.

Shaffer has served as Title IX coordinator for Cincinnati's three campuses since 2014. Previously, she was an equal opportunity specialist/Title IX investigator at the University of Houston (2013-14), assistant dean of students at Reed College, Portland, Oregon (2011-13) and coordinator of victim services for the Vanderbilt University police department, Nashville (2009-11). She served as a county director for the HomeSafe domestic violence program in Gallatin, Tennessee (2006-09).

Shaffer earned bachelor's degrees in history and education (2002) from Clarion University, Pennsylvania; and a master's degree in conflict management (2011) from Lipscomb University, Nashville.

About the search

Associate provost for faculty Dawn Bratsch-Prince and senior associate athletics director for sports administration Calli Sanders are leading a seven-member search committee. The Massachusetts-based Spelman and Johnson Group is assisting with the search.

Iowa State's EO director manages all aspects of equal opportunity and affirmative action programs, from ensuring university compliance with laws and regulations to investigating and resolving complaints. The position reports to the president's office. Mary Sirna, administrative adviser for ISU police, has been serving as interim EO director since October.