Affirmative Action: Valerie Hayes of Cornell

Valerie O. Hayes, director of Cornell University's Office of Equal Opportunity, has been named Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action at Penn, to take office August 1.

Ms. Hayes, who joined the Cornell office eight years ago and became its director in 1993, is an alumna of the University of Connecticut who took a master of social work degree there in 1978.

In 1989 Ms. Hayes took her J.D. from the University of Bridgeport School of Law (now Quinnipiac College School of Law, in Hamden, Connecticut), where she was associate editor of the Law Review and won the National Brief Writing Competition Award. A member of the American Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association, she is licensed as an attorney in Pennsylvania.

Before turning to the law, Ms. Hayes was an employment specialist for the Urban League of New Haven, 1978-83, and senior affirmative action officer of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health, 1983-86. She was affirmative action administrator for the Connecticut Department of Human Resources from 1986-89, and continued as a consultant to that department until 1991.

Ms. Hayes served on numerous policy development groups at Cornell, including those on personnel policies, AIDS and HIV infection, sexual assault, and discrimination/harassment procedures. A frequent speaker on topics in affirmative action, diversity, and wide-ranging workplace issues, she also took part in numerous planning and advising teams for students, faculty, staff and parents at Cornell. Among her volunteer activities were student registration, summer tutoring, and mediation for the Community Dispute Resolution Center of Ithaca. She was also a commissioner of the Tompkins County Human Rights Commission.

"We are delighted that Valerie Hayes has accepted our officer to head the Office of Affirmative Action," said President Judith Rodin. "Her record at Cornell is extremely impressive, and we are confident that she will accomplish great things here as well. This is a time when leadership in affirmative action is more important than ever, and I am pleased that Valerie will help provide it here at Penn."

Dr. Rodin thanked the search committee, headed by SSW's Associate Dean Peter Vaughan, for "a splendid job" and expressed her appreciation to Professor Howard Arnold, also of the School of Social Work, for his service as interim director of Penn's affirmative action office since the resignation of Anita Jenious last year.


Volume 43 Number 36
June 17, 1997

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