Affirmative action director, assistant counsel named

October 23 2008

Sheila Johnson-Willis has been named director of affirmative action at Indiana State University.

The position of director of diversity and affirmative action at Indiana State was recently reorganized into an affirmative action compliance position and a diversity position. Willis will report to the ISU president through Melony Sacopulos, the university's attorney, and oversee compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.

"I am excited about this opportunity to employ my legal knowledge and professional experience in a way that greater enhances diversity and equality here at Indiana State University. I am truly looking forward to establishing and building on relationships with all members of our community," Johnson-Willis said.

"I am pleased to welcome Sheila to this new position," Sacopulos said. "She has an exceptional understanding of sexual harassment, discrimination and disability concerns and other employment law issues and has experience working with under-represented individuals and in developing training programs for administrative staff."

Johnson-Willis is currently employee relations and immigration coordinator in the human resources office at Indiana State. She previously served as a court services specialist in Kalamazoo, Mich.; a bankruptcy specialist with a Lansing, Mich. law firm; NAFTA coordinator for an automotive firm; and as an unemployment claims interviewer for the state of Michigan.

She holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Albion College in Albion, Mich. and completed her law degree at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing.

Also in the ISU general counsel's office, Katie Butwin has been named to the position of assistant counsel.

A deputy prosecutor in Vigo County, Butwin holds bachelor's degrees in English and political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a law degree from DePaul University. She previously served as a staff attorney, associate general counsel and vice president and general counsel at DePaul.

Both Johnson-Willis and Butwin will start Nov. 3.

A national search is underway for a chief diversity officer who will report to the ISU president. The diversity officer will recommend policies ? both in the work force and student body ? and develop programming and education to build greater awareness and understanding.

Contact: Melony Sacopulos, general counsel, Indiana State University, 812-237-4141 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications & Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or

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Story Highlights

Sheila Johnson-Willis has been named director of affirmative action at Indiana State University. Johnson-Willis will oversee compliance with state and federal laws and regulations relating to employment and non-discrimination issues.

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