Sunday, August 9, 2020

MSU chooses search firm and names campus committee to find new Title IX leader

November 15, 2018
Beaumont Tower on July 30, 2018.
Beaumont Tower on July 30, 2018. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

The Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance, an office created by Interim President John Engler in March, has been without a permanent leader since June. In an effort to fill the associate vice president position, MSU has named a campus-wide search committee and chose a national search firm, according to a press release from the university. 

Isaacson Miller—who has helped recruit leaders for universities, human service agencies, arts and cultural groups, environmental organizations, social justice organizations and more — will work with the committee during the search. 

The committee is made up of six campus leaders:

  • Michael Zeig, chief of staff for the president.
  • Philip Strong, interim dean of students.
  • Robert Young, vice president and general counsel.
  • Rebecca Campbell, professor of psychology and chairperson of the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Workgroup.
  • Marilyn Tarrant, associate vice president and chief audit, risk and compliance officer.
  • Jennifer Smith, senior women’s administrator and senior associate athletics director.

In the spring, members of the MSU community will have the chance to meet with the finalists of the search.

The Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance is currently being led on an interim basis by Robert Kent, an attorney for MSU since 2014. He replaced Jessica Norris, who was the former Title IX coordinator promoted to the position after the creation of the office, after her resignation in June.

This newly created office is responsible for the departments that investigate civil rights and Title IX complaints, as well as prevention and education efforts. The office also works with campus organizations that provide services to survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence.

The Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance have seen some changes since spring, the press release said.  

Expanding from 17 to 32 employees, the 2018-19 budget includes funding to increase the Title IX office's preventive and investigative staff. It also includes funding for six new advocacy, crisis intervention and counseling positions in the Sexual Assault Program, four new MSU Police officers, two positions in the new Office of Enterprise Risk Management, Ethics, and Compliance and more. 

Additionally, a new leadership development training program was launched in the Office of Civil Rights back in March for administrators who work with prevention and response to harassment and discrimination.

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