Former Wake Forest Title IX Coordinator Tanya Jachimiak prepares to step into her new role as associative vice president for The Office of Civil Rights on Feb. 3, after MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. appointed her in early December.
“I was very, very excited and very excited to work with all of the students, faculty and staff at MSU. And I am counting down the days to joining you all on Feb. 3,” Jachimiak said.
Jachimiak will be replacing Robert Kent who has been in the position since June 2018, since appointed by former MSU Interim President John Engler. Kent will remain in an advisory role until March 1 and then return to the Office of the General Counsel.
“This is an important post for MSU, and we are pleased to have someone with Tanya’s background join us,” Stanley stated in a press release. “She brings valuable experience in leading complex teams and developing successful programs. She will be a key asset as we continue to expand our relationship violence, sexual misconduct and discrimination prevention and response efforts.”
A Chicago native, Jachimiak practiced law for 10 years before moving to higher education in 2008 as the director of the Office for Access and Equity at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
She oversaw affirmative action, mediation services, as well as investigations of discrimination and harassment. In 2014, Jachimiak opened the Title IX Office at Wake Forest University where she single-handedly ran the office while expanding it to include grievances under the Americans with Disabilities Act and a newly created bias team.
This will be one of the first times that MSU’s Title IX coordinator position has been elevated to the level of associate vice president. Given the higher level, Jachimiak is excited for the opportunity of being in this role among two important departments.
“I will oversee the OIE (Office of Institutional Inequity), which as you know is the office that responds to reports of discrimination, harassment ... . And then the prevention side POE (Office of Prevention, Outreach, and Education) is the department, the office that engages with students, faculty and staff around prevention efforts,” Jachimiak said.
Jachimiak said she plans to approach the position as an ally to students because she believes it is important to establish transparency.
“I'll be working closely with my staff as well as students, staff and faculty members to identify and reduce barriers to reporting and using the services offered by OIE and POE and this very much includes appropriately increasing increasing transparency,” Jachimiak said. “Similarly, I will be working with my staff to further identify assessment and care for the needs of students, including how do we improve coordination of prevention and response efforts that are grounded in best practices and due process but also care.”
She believes a key part of her role will be to establish relationships at Michigan State, similar to her own personal values.
“MSU is really posed to be a national example," Jachimiak said. "It's a very, very exciting time. I think Dr. Stanley's initiatives are going to set the the bar for where other universities should be, and I'm very excited to be a part of that.”
Despite not yet stepping foot on campus in her new position, Jachimiak has already begun to feel welcomed by the Spartan community and by many of her colleagues as well.
“I'm very much looking forward to working with you and to working with other MSU students as we rebuild the trust, ensuring that we have that increased transparency as well as providing support for all students. I'm just really excited to get there and to meet with you all,” Jachimiak said.