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Southern Oregon U. makes equity officer a vice president with recent hire

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Toya Cooper

Southern Oregon University's efforts at equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI or DEI) have run up against some obstacles in recent years, with people hired for the key position leaving after short stays.

Toya Cooper is now the top DEI person, and unlike the previous appointees, she is a Vice President of the university. Cooper brings a wealth of experience in DEI on campuses on both coasts, along with a law degree earned at Willamette University in Salem.

She arrived on campus just ahead of new SOU President Rick Bailey, who prefers to add justice to the acronym, for JEDI.

Toya Cooper shares her thoughts on the work ahead.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.