UO to hire assistant vice president to focus on fighting sexual violence

As part of the University of Oregon’s comprehensive plan on sexual assault, the UO has launched the search for a new assistant vice president for campus sexual assault and Title IX. The goal is to have this new position start by July 1, 2015.

The new AVP will lead the university’s campuswide work to reduce sexual assault through education and prevention and ensure institutional accountability in responding to reported concerns and complaints. The person in the position will have primary responsibility for coordinating effective efforts in compliance with Title IX, the federal laws about equal access to educational opportunities. 

“Sexual assault prevention and response is a top priority on our campus and requires the collective and sustained effort of a lot of people,” said Robin Holmes, vice president for student life. “I appreciate the broad support and investment to create a new position that will coordinate the many activities already occurring across campus and as well as those we will put into place in the future.”

The position will report to the vice president for student life and will have joint accountability to the president as well.

“This hire, as well as the formation of a sexual assault advisory council and an executive committee, will be crucial to coordinating new and existing programs to reduce and respond to sexual assault,” interim President Scott Coltrane said. “This position reflects the culmination of months of work by many people to determine the most strategic way to create change on campus.”

The person will work closely with two deputy Title IX coordinators, including Lisa Peterson, the senior associate athletics director and senior women’s administrator, who has primary responsibility to oversee gender equity in athletics, and Penny Daugherty, who will continue to have primary responsibility for investigations and resolution of Title IX reports and complaints.  Daugherty is currently the Title IX coordinator and will transition to the deputy coordinator when the AVP is hired.

“The Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Office’s portfolio is much broader than Title IX, and the additional position will be a great asset to campus and enable Penny’s expertise to be best utilized in continuing to investigate and bring resolution to situations that arise,” said Jamie Moffitt, vice president for finance and administration. “Given the overlap of duties of the new AVP and those of a Title IX officer, it made the most sense to move the Title IX coordinating responsibilities to the new position.”

The search committee will be chaired by Kathie Stanley, associate vice president and chief of staff for student life. Members of the committee include Daugherty, David Espinoza, testing center director for the University Counseling and Testing Center;  Ibrahim Gassama, professor of law; Krista Chronister, associate professor of counseling psychology; Sheryl Eyster, associate dean of students; Lauren Appell, student member of the Oregon Association Against Sexual Assault; Sam Hill, associate general counsel; and Sandy Weintraub, director of student conduct and community standards.

 The committee will begin reviewing applications April 27.