Rucker Named Coordinator of Institutional Equity and Diversity at Southeast

Rucker Sonia

Sonia Rucker

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 28, 2015 – Sonia Rucker, a disability determination counselor with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Disability Determinations Services in Cape Girardeau, has been named coordinator of Institutional Equity and Diversity at Southeast Missouri State University.

Rucker began her new duties April 27.

The coordinator of Institutional Equity and Diversity will be responsible for serving as the institution’s Title IX coordinator, including the development, implementation and monitoring of appropriate disclosure, policies, procedures and practices to comply with federal and state legislation, regulation and case law requiring the resolution of Title IX-related complaints.

The role also will involve supervising and developing strategies designed to enhance the University community’s appreciation for cultural diversity, its climate of tolerance, respect for the rights of all persons, and affirmative action and equal opportunity.

Rucker will coordinate programs to assist Southeast in recruiting, cultivating and retaining a diverse faculty and staff. She also will work to develop diversity and affirmative action goals and maintain effective and equitable processes for resolution of workplace issues.

In her role as coordinator of Institutional Equity and Diversity, she will oversee development and dissemination of institutional education materials and training programs that inform the campus community of their rights and responsibilities related to equal opportunity, affirmative action, discrimination, sexual harassment and related topics. She will investigate student, faculty and staff equity and inclusion complaints and serve as an ombudsman.

Prior to her work with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Rucker spent nine years at Cornell University as the dean of student’s university-wide crisis manager, associate director and assistant director of diversity and inclusion with the Johnson Graduate School of Management, program manager with the ILR Graduate Programs Office, and associate director of counseling and community outreach with Minority Educational Affairs.

Rucker is returning to Southeast Missouri State University where she was assistant director of the Learning Enrichment Center from November 2000 to August 2003 and TRIO tutorial coordinator in Student Support Services from November 2000 to April 2002. She also has served as a career consultant with The Full Employment Council of Kansas City and as a statewide intake specialist and a child protective services investigator with The Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services in Austin, Texas.

Rucker holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from Texas A&M University-Central Texas and a bachelor of science in psychology from the University of Central Missouri. She is a member of the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals and the American College Personnel Association.

The Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity is located in Academic Hall Room 010.