Overview of the Commissioners

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission consists of seven members appointed by the Governor, subject to two-thirds confirmation by the Senate. No more than four commissioners can belong to one political party, and geographical area representation must be taken into account "insofar as may be practicable."

The commissioners serve without compensation, but are reimbursed for "necessary travel and other expenses incurred while on official commission business." Staggered four-year terms are provided for the commissioners. Consequently, the initial appointments in 1965 included two-year terms for three commissioners (Harper, Kruidenier, and Slotsky). All three were reappointed in 1967 to full four-year terms, which expire on June 30, 1971. The other four commissioners (Boles, Full, Goldman, and Hamilton) were appointed in 1965 to four-year terms, which expire on June 30, 1967.

The individual commissioners, representing a broad racial, religious, ethnic, political, and geographical cross section of Iowa citizens, are all active in civic affairs in their respective communities and belong to numerous professional organizations or societies.

Individual Profiles of the Commissioners

Donald E. Boles:
Commissioner Boles is a Professor of Government at Iowa State University in Ames. He holds a B.S. degree in English and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin. A Democrat, he is chairman of the Iowa State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and served as chairman of the Governor's (Advisory) Commission on Human Relations from 1958 to 1960 and from 1962 to 1965. He was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, in 1926.

Merle F. Full: Chairman Full is the wife of Elliott Full, vice president of radio station KXIC in Iowa City and president of the Night-Eye Corporation. She holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from the State University of Iowa. A Democrat, she was a member of Governor Loveless' Action Committee on Reapportionment, and served as member and secretary for Iowans Against the Shaff Plan. She was born in Iowa City in 1926.

June P. Goldman: Commissioner Goldman is the wife of the Rev. M. E. Goldman, minister of the Methodist Church in Forest City. She holds a B.A. degree in English from Wellesley College. A Republican, she is a member of the human relations panel "Know Your Neighbor," is the legislative affairs chairman of Iowa Church Women United, and is a member of the Adult Education Advisory Committee of the State Department of Public Instruction. She was born in Kobe, Japan, in 1925.

Philip A. Hamilton: Commissioner Hamilton is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Loras College in Dubuque. He holds a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Creighton University an S.T.L. degree from Catholic University, and M.A. and , Ph.D. degrees in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame. A Democrat, he is a member of the Dubuque Human Relations Committee, a member of the Iowa Welfare Association, and is vice president of the Iowa Council of Family Relations. He was born in Clarion in 1918.

Harry D. Harper: Vice Chairman Harper is a physician and surgeon in Fort Madison. He holds a B.S. degree in Pre-Medicine from the University of Iowa and an M.D. degree from Howard University. A Republican, he is president of the Fort Madison branch of the NAACP, and was a member in 1954 of Governor Hoegh's Study Commission on Discrimination in Employment. He was born in Fort Madison in 1900.

Elizabeth S. Kruidenier: Commissioner Kruidenier is married to David Kruidenier, the vice president and general manager of the Des Moines Register and Tribune. She holds a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Connecticut College. A Democrat, she has served continuously as a civil rights commissioner since her appointment in 1954 to Governor Hoegh's Study Commission on Discrimination in Employment. She is a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee to the United States Community Relations Service, the "Know Your Neighbor" panel, and the League of Women Voters of Iowa. She was born in Des Moines in 1926.

Lawrence S. Slotsky: Commissioner Slotsky is the executive vice president and manager of the Sioux City Credit Bureau, the publisher of the Sioux City Daily Reporter, and a director of KDVR-FM Radio Station in Sioux City. He holds a B.S. degree in Commerce from the University of Iowa. A Republican, he is past chairman of the Sioux City Chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and past president of the Jewish Federation of Sioux City. He was born in Sioux City in 1921.

The Commission Officers

The Commission officers are chosen by majority vote of the commissioners, meeting in executive sessions. The commissioners decided in November of 1967 to elect officers thereafter at the start of each fiscal year.

Mrs. Full, the present chairman, was elected in November of 1966. The first chairman, the Reverend Mr. Hamilton, served from July of 1965 to November of 1966.

Vice Chairman: Dr. Harper, the present vice chairman, was elected in November of 1967. His predecessors were Mr. Slotsky, who had served from November of 1966 to November of 1967; and Mrs. Kruidenier, who served from July of 1965 to November of 1966.

Mrs. Goldman has been the commissioner-secretary since the position was created in November of 1966.

The Staff

The commissioners, as the policy-making body, rely on a paid professional staff for administration of Commission policies and programs. An annual budget of $31,900 during the first biennium allowed only for an executive director, one investigator, and one secretary. An annual budget of $85,000 for the present biennium allows for an executive director, a compliance director, two investigators, a research-and-education director, and two secretaries.

Director: James Thomas, a native of Des Moines, began his duties as the executive director on February 1, 1966. Thomas, 28, holds a B.A. degree in English from Wesleyan University and an LL.B. degree in Law from Yale University. He previously had worked for two years as staff attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.

Compliance Director: David Mullin, born in Spalding, Nebraska, was appointed as the compliance director on August 1, 1967, following his service since November 14, 1966, as the Commission's investigator. Mullin, 34, holds a B.E. degree in Education from the University of Nebraska, and has done graduate work in guidance counseling there. He previously had worked four years in the U.S. State Department's Diplomatic Courier Service, and had worked prior to that as a junior business executive and as a school teacher.

Research-and-Education Director: Kermit Dunahoo, born in Zearing, became the research-and-education director on September 1, 1967. Dunahoo, 26, holds a B.S. degree in Industrial Administration from Iowa State University, and expects an M.S. degree in Government from the same institution in February of 1968. He previously had worked two years as a civil rights and research manpower specialist with the Iowa State Manpower Development Council, where he worked closely with the Commission staff.

Other Staff Personnel: Darlene Cooper, born in Chicago, Illinois, began her duties as the confidential secretary on November 1, 1965. A graduate of Des Moines Technical High School, she is continuing her education in night classes at Drake University. She has supervised a number of clerk typists and Neighborhood Youth Corps enrollees* who have been on the clerical staff at various times.

*1. The Iowa Civil Rights Commission employs an NYC enrollee as a general office clerk, when an enrollee is available. The enrollee works a 32-hour week, and her salary is paid by
the Polk County Community Action Council.

Commission Meetings

Four Commissioners by law constitute a quorum for conducting official Commission business.

Frequency: The Commission's organizational meeting was held on July 19, 1965. Since that time the Commission has met a total of forty times, including five times in cities other than Des Moines. As a matter of policy, the Commission has met at least once every month since its inception. As circumstances permit in the future, the Commission plans to hold about every third meeting in cities other than Des Moines.

General Format: An increasing amount of Commission activities has necessitated a general policy of maintaining a two-day meeting, including an evening session on Wednesday and
an all-day session on Thursday. In accordance with the Open Meetings Act of 1967, all Commission meetings are open to the public. However, in accordance with the confidentiality
requirements of the Iowa Civil Rights Act, executive sessions (excluding the public) are held when confidential case matters are discussed.

At each Commission meeting, the commissioners take formal action on compliance matters and other Commission matters; give directives to the staff on future activities; receive project reports by the staff; receive reports on civil rights matters from specifically-invited guests; and entertain questions and comments by those in attendance,

Meetings in Cities
Outside Des Moines: To date, the Commission has held its regular meetings in four cities other than Des Moines: Waterloo on January 6, 1966; Sioux City on March 3, 1966; Davenport on April 14, 1966; Fort Dodge on April 6, 1967; and Waterloo again on September 7, 1967. At least 30 or 40 persons have attended each of these meetings.

At these meetings, Commission personnel explain the workings of the Commission, the coverage of the Iowa Civil Rights Act, and the mechanics of filing a complaint with the Commission; and entertain questions from the audience. The Commission considers these meetings as an excellent tool for local people to learn firsthand about the civil rights laws and the Commission.

Executive sessions generally are set aside during these meetings to enable individuals to file complaints on the spot or to discuss civil rights matters of local concern. Moreover, the Commission usually meets in executive session with local human rights commissions or advisory committees for a private briefing session on local civil rights matters. A separate session is set aside for the Commission's regular business meeting.


In conclusion,
the Iowa Civil Rights Commission consists of seven unpaid commissioners and a paid staff. Policy is formulated by the commissioners at monthly meetings, and the administration of their policy is the responsibility of the staff .

The next two sections of this report deal with the Commission's two main categories of responsibility: investigation and resolution of complaints of discriminatory practices which are prohibited by the Iowa Civil Rights Act, as amended; and maintenance of educational programs which are designed to improve intergroup relations in our state.

1968 Annual Report Main Page