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July 22, 2003

SMU Names New Director Of Institutional Access And Equity

Elizabeth WilsonDALLAS (SMU) -- Elizabeth Wilson has been appointed to serve as executive assistant to the president and as director of institutional access and equity at Southern Methodist University. She comes to SMU from Oklahoma City with a strong background in law, education and affirmative action administration.

Wilson's responsibilities will include developing and implementing policies and programs that ensure both equal access and equitable treatment for the diverse populations of students, faculty and staff at SMU. In addition to addressing access and equity issues, she will be responsible for identifying challenges and problems in these areas and making recommendations for their solutions.

"SMU has a strong commitment to diversity among its students, faculty and staff," President R. Gerald Turner said. " With her strong credentials and experience, Beth Wilson is ideally suited to address issues of access and equity. We look forward to having her as a key member of the university's administrative team."

Wilson is an attorney, consulting company president and certified mediator. She served as associate provost of Columbia University from 1995 to 2000 and has held adjunct faculty positions at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University School of Law. She has administered affirmative action programs for the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Public Schools and University Hospital and Clinics in Oklahoma City.

The new SMU administrator has served as consultant for numerous clients, including civic organizations, universities, law schools and other education bodies in Oklahoma, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Vermont and Maryland. She was national president of the American Association for Affirmative Action from 1998 to 2000 and previously was chair of the Affirmative Action Review Council for the State of Oklahoma. She has received numerous service awards and was twice named an Outstanding Young Woman of America. Wilson has appeared on various public service television programs in Oklahoma and has been a panelist and featured speaker on affirmative action issues on several national television broadcasts.

"I am really looking forward to working with President Turner and the SMU community," Wilson said. "Its tradition of excellence and its strong commitment to access and equity are compelling combinations."

Wilson earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Oklahoma and graduated fourth in her class with a J.D. degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. While a student there, she received American Jurisprudence Awards in labor law and constitutional law.

Wilson succeeds Everett Winters, who recently retired as executive assistant to the president and director of affirmative action at SMU.