New office melds efforts against discrimination and harassment

Relief carving of intertwined UO

The University of Oregon is forming a new Office of Civil Rights Compliance with the responsibility of investigating and responding to all forms of discrimination and harassment.

The restructure consolidates efforts previously housed in the Title IX and Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity offices.

President Michael H. Schill, Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt and Vice President for Student Life Kevin Marbury announced the restructure in a memo to academic and administrative leaders.

“Ensuring the University of Oregon has an inclusive and welcoming campus for students, staff, faculty and the community is a top institutional priority,” they state in the memo. “We must continuously look for ways to strengthen and enhance efforts to address and reduce incidents of discrimination and harassment. The new Office of Civil Rights Compliance will bolster the UO’s investigatory capabilities, reduce confusion about where to report and ultimately improve the university’s ability to respond to and resolve a variety of civil rights complaints.”

The new unit will be led by Darci Heroy, current associate vice president and Title IX coordinator, and will report directly to the president with a reporting relationship also to the vice president for student life and vice president for finance and administration.

The move is designed to align the UO with emerging best practices within higher education as institutions across the country seek to improve consistency and coordination of policies and processes for investigating and responding to all forms of discrimination and harassment.

The memo explained that the change should make it much easier for students, faculty members and staff to know where to turn for help.

“The restructuring will bring together two offices that have similar investigatory roles on the UO’s campus,” it reads. “The Title IX office is responsible for institutional oversight of all complaints related to gender discrimination and sexual harassment. The AAEO office is responsible for managing complaints of other discriminatory or harassing behavior, including discrimination based on race, age, disability, or national origin. The two offices already work closely on a variety of issues and initiatives, and we believe they will function even more effectively as a combined unit with consistent processes, oversight, and management of all claims of discrimination at the UO.”

Other important functions of the affirmative action office, such as disability accommodations and affirmative action reporting, will remain in the Office of Human Resources portfolio, Moffitt said. Under this new structure, a separate affirmative action office or director will no longer exist.

Heroy said there should be no interruption in services for people who are currently working with either the affirmative action or Title IX office. In the coming weeks and months, the office will roll out new tools for reporting any incident of harassment or discrimination.

During the transition period, for questions about issues related to all prohibited discrimination and harassment and employee reporting obligations or to make a nonconfidential report, contact Heroy at 541-346-8136 or titleixcoordinator@uoregon.edu. For concerns involving students, contact the confidential crisis staff in the Office of the Dean of Students at 541-346-3216 or 541-346-SAFE, or visit SAFE.uoregon.edu.

For questions or information related to workplace disability accommodations, contact Martin Stanberry at 541-346-2985 or martin@uoregon.edu.

For questions or information related to affirmative action, contact Judy Rideout, senior affirmative action specialist, 541-346-2942 or jbr@uoregon.edu