May 14, 2016

University Seeking Deputy Title IX Coordinator

The University is interviewing applicants to fill the newly created role of Deputy Title IX Coordinator, according to the Director of Public Affairs for Communication, Marielle Sainvilus. The position will entail assisting the current Title IX coordinator of the University, Sarah Wake.

The University’s job listing on summarizes the Deputy Title IX Coordinator position as being “[primarily responsible] for managing the day-to-day functions associated with the University’s Title IX and VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) compliance obligations involving students.” The Title IX Coordinator (and future Deputy Coordinator) operates on multiple fronts at once, addressing both general Title IX compliance at the University and sexual assault and misconduct as they appear.

Sainvilus said that the University is in the midst of interviewing candidates for the new position but declined to comment further on the University’s proceedings or progress.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting gender-based discrimination in federally funded educational institutions. Under the legislation, the University is required to appoint and train new staff members to be “Title IX Coordinators.”

In a February e-mail to the student body, Isaacs explained the reasoning behind hiring additional staff focused on Title IX at the University. “[We] will reallocate resources for dedicated personnel reporting to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Sarah Wake. The reorganization will also enable us to better provide support and resources for survivors,” Isaacs wrote.

The e-mail from Isaacs was sent out soon after the resignation of Jason Lieb, a former professor in the Department of Human Genetics, who resigned in response to allegations of sexual misconduct with an intoxicated student. Phoenix Survivors Alliance, a student advocacy group that campaigns for Title IX compliance at the University, had demanded more staff for Wake’s office.

Two investigations into the University’s Title IX compliance were launched in February by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, bringing the number of open Title IX cases against the University to three. After the announcement, a university spokesperson said that the cases had been filed before significant changes had been made to the University’s approach to Title IX cases.

Title IX Coordinators assist with the implementation and ongoing quality of Title IX programs at the University. Title IX programs have included training of University departments in Title IX adherence and sexual assault prevention, events for spreading awareness of Title IX measures and prevention of gender discrimination, and campus-wide dialogues about gender-based discrimination and assault, such as the annual campus climate survey.

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