Vanessa Crakes appointed UO's interim Title IX coordinator

Vanessa Crakes

Vanessa Crakes has been appointed interim Title IX coordinator and will lead the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance while the search continues for a new chief civil rights officer and Title IX coordinator.

The appointment went into effect July 15, when Darci Heroy, the UO’s associate vice president, chief civil rights officer and Title IX coordinator, officially stepped down from the post. Heroy announced her intent to step down from the position last fall.

Crakes has been with the university since 2014, serving as a Title IX investigator and most recently as the manager of investigations for the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance. Before coming to the UO, she worked as an attorney for more than eight years after completing her law degree at the UO School of Law and serving as a law clerk in Lane County Circuit Court.

In addition to overseeing investigations and day-to-day functions of the office, Crakes has assumed decision-making authority on Title IX matters requiring the coordinator’s decision.

“The Title IX coordinator position is a critical part of supporting our university community and making sure people feel safe and secure in their academic pursuits,” Crakes said. “I look forward to continuing to help support an equitable environment for our students, faculty and staff.”

Mark Schmelz, chief human resources officer and associate vice president, will continue providing administrative leadership to the investigations and civil rights office in the interim.

The search for a new associate vice president, chief civil rights officer and Title IX coordinator was launched during the 2019-20 academic year and will resume later this month following a pause due to COVID-19.

“The search for the next associate vice president yielded a strong candidate pool and the search committee conducted video interviews to identify finalists for the position,” said Schmelz, who is chairing the search committee. “The pandemic delayed finalist interviews and we are in the process of scheduling those interviews virtually.”

More information about the search and candidates for the position will be posted on the Office of the President’s website as it is available.

By Jesse Summers, University Communications