The University of Utah’s Office of General Counsel announced that Jess Morrison has been appointed Interim Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Title IX.
The Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Title IX (OEO) is dedicated to providing a fair and equitable environment for all members of the University campus community to pursue their academic and professional goals. OEO staff ensure University practices and policies comply with federal and state law.
“This role is critical to preserving a campus that is welcoming and safe for all community members and visitors,” said Phyllis Vetter, general counsel and vice president. “We are so pleased to have Jess Morrison’s experience and leadership at this time.”
Morrison has extensive experience in anti-discrimination investigation and compliance, working for Goldman Sachs for several years before he joined OEO as an Equal Opportunity Consultant in 2019. Morrison has a degree in anthropology and literature from the University of Notre Dame, a master of arts in social sciences from the University of Chicago, and is a graduate of the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. He worked as a human rights fellow in Kathmandu, Nepal.
“I look forward to continuing the important work of protecting a fair and equitable environment for our students, faculty and staff to be able to learn, teach, conduct research and provide high-quality healthcare,” Morrison said.
Morrison replaces former Director Sherrie Hayashi, who left the university at the end of 2023. A search will be conducted to find a new director.
The Director of the OEO serves as the university’s Title IX Coordinator and is responsible for overseeing the U’s response to reports and complaints of possible sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, consistent with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
The director also serves as the university’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinator and, as such, is responsible for overseeing the university’s efforts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The ADA and the Rehabilitation Act mandate that all university programs and facilities be accessible for faculty, staff, and students. They also require that the university ensure public access to U of U Healthcare, services, and programs and maintain prompt and equitable processes for responding to complaints.