The University of Iowa College of Law announces the creation of an Alumni-led council, committed to bolster diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Alumni DEI Council is a select group of Iowa Law’s alumni who foster accountability in maintaining and increasing DEI efforts at the College of Law. Utilizing their skills, networks, and expertise, members of the Council will develop, support, and advance DEI initiatives to carry out the Iowa Law Anti-Racism Action Committee’s [“ILARAC”] August 2020 Recommendations, and strive to position Iowa Law’s DEI efforts as a leader among law schools.
“Iowa Law brought in its most diverse class in history last fall and that was the prompt for the Alumni DEI Council. The Council will make us a stronger law school by helping us to serve all of our students better. I view the Council as a source of wisdom, guidance and support for our students, faculty and staff,” said Kevin Washburn, N. William Hines Dean and Professor of Law.
The Alumni DEI Council first met in May 2021 for a kick-off call. Several weeks later, they participated in an implicit bias training and then on June 5 they had their first business meeting, which included presentations from Dean Washburn, the Iowa Law School Foundation, Career Services, Admissions and Financial Aid.
The Alumni DEI Council will develop and support key programs in recruiting underrepresented students to Iowa Law, connect current students and recent graduates with alumni mentorship and work with faculty and staff to support DEI efforts.
Tiffany Ferguson (Class of 1996) is serving as the interim chair for the Council’s first year. Her charge to the group this summer is to ensure the council’s longevity by creating governance and nominating processes and to align on the council’s focus for 2021-2022. “It’s important that the council’s work is student-focused. I see our role as amplifying student voices. Iowa Law’s future as a premier legal institution is interconnected to how well it seizes upon this moment in history to create legal leaders of the future.”
The inaugural cohort of council members spans over 30 years of alumni and represents a variety of career paths and geographies to represent a cross-section of Iowa Law alumni. Council accomplishments and networks will help extend the Iowa Law network for the benefits of current and prospective students, alumni, and future council members.
Winnie Uluocha first brought the idea to Dean Washburn in 2018, she shared “[t]he launch of the Alumni DEI Council is significant for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly it is an example of the Law School’s tangible commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Being one of a handful of law schools across the nation that has an alumni council solely dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts will not only benefit the culture of the law school, but it will also allow us to engage our alumni that care about these issues and want to be a part of the change. I believe that the legal profession must continue to work to be inclusive of diverse perspectives and reflect the diversity of our society so that we can better service them, and it is my hope that the inaugural Alumni DEI Council Members will strive to continue to help make that a reality.”
Get to know Iowa Law’s Alumni DEI Council.