UO President Michael Schill and Vice President for Student Life Robin Holmes have appointed Darci Heroy as interim associate vice president and Title IX coordinator.
Heroy will be responsible for coordinating the university’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault in compliance with Title IX, the federal law that requires equal access to educational opportunities.
Heroy has been consulting with the UO on Title IX issues since April 2015. During that time she has provided project coordination for the Title IX management team, helping track the university’s Title IX initiatives and creating a framework for a comprehensive strategic plan on sexual assault prevention and response.
Heroy previously served as an equal opportunity specialist in the UO’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, where she conducted investigations of sexual misconduct cases, and was also a senior civil rights investigator for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. She is a labor and employment attorney with a law degree from the UO School of Law and a master’s in international policy analysis from the Monterey Institute.
“Darci’s extensive legal background, prior work as an investigator at the UO and outstanding work coordinating our Title IX efforts as a consultant make her uniquely situated to lead our current Title IX efforts,” Holmes said. “We must keep our forward momentum on improving the university’s prevention of and response to sexual assault.”
The university began the search for a new AVP and Title IX coordinator nine months ago, but two rounds of recruiting did not yield a candidate that was the right fit for the UO campus. Highly qualified candidates with Title IX experience in higher education are in great demand, Holmes said, making such searches highly competitive.
Holmes said the UO is fortunate that Heroy has agreed to continue with the university in this important position given her knowledge of the campus and significant experience with Title IX and related laws.
“I care deeply about the university and the people here,” Heroy said. “I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with faculty, staff and students and to contribute to the meaningful work that is already happening on campus. I strongly believe that the UO has the ability to use its experience to become a leader in the areas of Title IX prevention and response and to help shape best practices nationally. ”
Holmes says this interim appointment will allow the university to keep its forward momentum toward making improvements to the university’s sexual assault prevention and response initiatives and will give the university time to ensure the current configuration of the Title IX position is viable.
Heroy will begin her appointment on Feb. 1. The university will make a decision about how to fill the position permanently by the end of the academic year.