Cheryl Angeletti-Harris has been named assistant vice provost for equal opportunity, taking over for Helen Remick, who recently retired from the position after 30 years at the University. Angeletti-Harris currently serves as an investigation and resolution specialist in the UW’s Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office.
“I’m really excited about the new job,” Angeletti-Harris said. “I know I have some big shoes to fill with Helen Remick being here so long and doing a great job. What excites me about it is that I’ll be involved with so many different things on campus and be part of something that can make a real difference at the University.”
As assistant vice provost for equal opportunity, Angeletti-Harris will be in charge of the Equal Opportunity Office (EOO), which consists of the Affirmative Action Office and the Disability Services Office. The EOO has overall responsibility for University adherence to civil rights laws — in both policy and practice — and plays an essential role in the provision of disability accommodations.
The assistant vice provost for equal opportunity serves as the University’s Title IX coordinator (the part of the Educational Amendments of 1972 that prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and is best known for its application to gender equity in sports), Title VI coordinator (the part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance), affirmative action coordinator and Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator, all positions required by federal and/or state regulations.
Angeletti-Harris grew up in Southern California and earned her undergraduate degree in social sciences at UC Berkeley in 1989. In 1993, She earned her law degree from UCLA School of Law. She worked as an associate attorney for more than three years at Carlburg and Associates, an employment law firm in Pasadena, Calif., before moving to Seattle in 1996 to join her husband, Kelly Harris, who is now executive assistant United States attorney for the western district of Washington.
“I enjoyed employment law, but when my husband and I decided to start a family, I knew that life in a law firm just wasn’t compatible with being the kind of parent I wanted to be,” Angeletti-Harris said. “So I explored what other kind of work might be suitable.”
Her first job outside of traditional law was as Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator for the City of Seattle’s Personnel Department. This was followed quickly by a four-year stint at Seattle City Light as equal employment opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator. She joined the UW in 2002.
“When I practiced employment law, we dealt a lot with school districts and educational institutions, and I always thought it would be interesting to work for a university,” Angeletti-Harris said. “I thought that in the university setting, you’d be involved in a wide variety of issues.”
As it’s turned out, she has enjoyed her work and says she doesn’t miss the traditional practice of law at all. Investigation and resolution specialists, she explained, receive complaints of harassment, discrimination or retaliation that are filed against University employees — filed either within the University or with external agencies, such as the EEOC or the State Human Rights Commission — and investigate those complaints.
If there is a violation of University policy, then investigators put on their resolution hats and try to bring all concerned parties to the table to work out a resolution.
“I like it because it’s a puzzle and it’s my job to solve it,” Angeletti-Harris said. “I get the various pieces and put them together and then come up with the picture. It’s also very people-oriented. I meet all kinds of people. It’s taught me how to work with groups of people I might not necessarily be involved with ordinarily.”
Angeletti-Harris is particularly looking forward to the people-oriented aspect of her new job. “It casts an even wider net and I’ll be meeting and getting to know an even broader group inside and outside the University,” she said.
Angeletti-Harris also recognizes that her new position represents a bigger puzzle than the one she has now. “There are so many different aspects to the job,” she said. “I’ll be supervising staff, working with faculty and staff and working with the various organizations on campus. I’ll be spending a lot of time in the beginning just getting to know them and what their needs and wants are, and learning the various roles of the assistant vice provost for equal opportunity. I’m looking forward to the challenges that the new position will present.”