Dec 14, 2006    #175
Contact: Noemi Rojas, public relations
(816) 235-1520

UMKC selects Hernandez to head Affirmative Action

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) names Grace G. Hernandez, M.A., as director of affirmative action under the Office of Diversity, Access and Equity. She starts Feb. 1, 2007.

Hernandez will be responsible for the development and implementation of campus affirmative action programs, which includes ensuring compliance with federal and state civil rights laws and regulations, as well as campus and university anti-discrimination policy and procedures. The position is expected to provide resolution of formal and informal discrimination complaints and serve as UMKC’s Equal Employment liaison to surrounding communities.

Currently, Hernandez is director of the Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) where she oversees the university’s Affirmative Action Plan. Since beginning there in 2003, she developed a five-year plan for the OID; collaborated with the provost’s office to review and update faculty recruitment guidelines; trained faculty search committees; and reviewed the recruitment plans of all the university’s colleges to achieve diversity goals and to verify compliance. She provided resources to help recruit diverse candidate pools; acquired and maintained institutional demographic data; investigated allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment; and prepared reports to executives with recommendations and training needs.

Before UTSA, Hernandez worked for the United Services Automobile Association in San Antonio as diversity analyst from 2000 to 2003. From 1989 to 2000, she was a legal assistant with Cox & Smith Incorporated in San Antonio where she assisted attorneys in the commercial litigation and employment law departments in all aspects of the litigation process.

Hernandez earned her Master of Arts in Human Resources Development from Webster University in St. Louis.

"We are excited and fortunate to have Ms. Hernandez on our team,” said Karen Dace, Ph.D., who in October was named UMKC Deputy Chancellor for Diversity, Access and Equity. Dace also assumes her position at UMKC Feb. 1. “She brings a level of experience and commitment that will help us build strong programs in affirmative action and diversity."

UMKC, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health and life sciences, and urban affairs.


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