UW News

October 29, 2015

Alexia Whitaker joins UW as affirmative action officer

UW News

Alexia Whitaker, who had previously served as a program manager in the Office of Affirmative Action at Arkansas State University, has joined the University of Washington as its affirmative action officer.

Whitaker’s primary responsibility in this role involves the preparation, implementation and oversight of the UW’s Affirmative Action Plan. This includes communicating and disseminating the plan, as well as collaborating with other officials around the university who are responsible for advancing the UW’s equity, diversity and equal employment opportunity goals.

Alexia Whitaker

Alexia WhitakerDennis Wise/U. of Washington

“I am really excited to be at UW in a position that aligns with the university’s commitment to diversity,” Whitaker said. “My role will allow me to not only ensure that UW meets its federal contractor compliance obligations, but will also allow active participation in furthering diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity efforts at the UW. Additionally, I hope to be a resource for both academic personnel and staff on the issues of affirmative action and equal opportunity.”

As a federal contractor, the UW is required to have an affirmative action officer to ensure compliance with Executive Order 11246. The officer develops the written Affirmative Action Plan which helps the UW identify and analyze potential problems in the participation and utilization of women and minorities in the contractor’s workforce, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“We are delighted to have someone of Alexia’s experience and credentials as the UW’s new affirmative action officer,” UW interim Provost Jerry Baldasty said. “This is an important role in not only ensuring federal compliance but expanding education and understanding around the very important issues of diversity and equity.”

Whitaker served in a similar role at Arkansas State for a year, where she led the preparation and monitoring of the university’s Affirmative Action Plan, analyzing reports to identify trends, strengths and opportunities for improvement in recruitment. She also oversaw and coordinated the development of university-wide education, training and outreach programs related to affirmative action, equal opportunity and Title IX. Whitaker earned a bachelor’s degree in African-American Studies and sociology, with a minor in English, at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, in 2004, and a J.D. at the DePaul University College of Law in 2011.