University News

Calhoun Named University Attorney

July 20, 2015


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MACOMB, IL -- Rica Calhoun, assistant director of Equal Opportunity and Access (EOA), has been named the University attorney for Western Illinois University, effective immediately.

In her role as University attorney, Calhoun will serve as the University's Freedom of Information Act Officer and Ethics Officer, and will also represent the University in all legal matters involving external administrative agencies. She will also advise the executive administration and Board of Trustees regarding legal matters and compliance; advise and assist departments responsible for compliance and employment matters; and draft, and review, all contracts concerning the University on a wide range of issues, including employment, real estate and leases, construction, insurance and procurement.

"Ms. Calhoun will provide excellent counsel to Western Illinois University. Consolidating legal services within the University will further streamline compliance, and will provide greater access to legal guidance," noted President Jack Thomas.

Calhoun has served as the EOA assistant director since June 2011, ensuring compliance with federal non-discrimination and retaliation laws, including Titles IV and VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and more. Calhoun created the University's Affirmative Action Plan, has conducted legal research, composed legal briefs and assisted with handling state and federal agency complaints. Prior to joining WIU's administration, she was the special assistant to the director at the College of William and Mary Office of Equal Opportunity. She has also worked as an intern for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida, for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia.

Calhoun has served as the EOA assistant director since June 2011, ensuring compliance with federal non-discrimination and retaliation laws, including Titles IV and VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and more. Calhoun created the University's Affirmative Action Plan, has conducted legal research, composed legal briefs and assisted with handling state and federal agency complaints. Prior to joining WIU's administration, she was the special assistant to the director at the College of William and Mary Office of Equal Opportunity. She has also worked as an intern for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida, for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia.

In addition to her duties in EOA, she also served as interim associate vice president for student services from Jan. 1 through June 30. In that role, Calhoun worked with the directors of the Multicultural Center (Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, Women's Center and Casa Latina), Disability Resource Center, Career Development Center, Student Publications, Student Legal Services and Student Judicial Programs to provide leadership and establish action plans and goals for these areas.

Calhoun serves as chair of the WIU Affirmative Action Administrative Internship Committee, and is a member of the Gender Equity Committee, University Diversity Council, ADA Advisory Committee and the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Initiative. She is involved in the Macomb community, serving as treasurer of the board for the Samaritan Well shelter in Macomb. She is secretary for the University Park Townhome Owners Association and a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Warren and McDonough Counties. Calhoun is a member of the American Association for Access, Equity, and Diversity, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the Illinois Bar Association and is an ATIXA Certified Title IX Campus Investigator.

She received a juris doctor from the College of William and Mary School of Law; a master's degree in international affairs from Florida State University; and her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Central Florida.

Posted By: University Communications (U-Communications@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations