Committee searches for new Title IX administrator

Tim Evans said an advisory committee will likely provide feedback and oversight for the new administrator.

President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into federal law on June 23, 1972, with hopes of finally eliminating “discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs or activities,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

More than 40 years later, officials are still working to carry out this policy. Recently, MU announced the creation of the Title IX administrator position.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said the new administrator would replace Interim Title IX Coordinator Linda Bennett. The administrator will ensure all aspects of the policy are observed by the university and investigate complaints of sexual misconduct.

Bennett has held her current post since June and is the university’s first full-time Title IX coordinator. Basi said Bennett is not applying for the new position.

A search committee consisting of various campus administrators, faculty and staff will work with Daniel Sinton, a managing partner for the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, to find a candidate who they believe would best fit the position.

The committee has eight members: Vice Chancellor for Operations Gary Ward as the committee chairman; Mary Austin, executive associate athletics director of compliance; DeAngela Burns-Wallace, assistant vice provost for undergraduate studies; associate professor and Faculty Councilman Tim Evans; UM System Assistant Vice President Deborah Noble-Triplett; Deborah Pasch, chief nurse executive for MU Health Care; Student Conduct coordinator Donell Young; and Karen Touzeau, associate vice chancellor of human resource services.

Out of all the committee members, only Evans was available for comment.

He said the committee is primarily seeking candidates who have already dealt with personnel issues, whether they have already been a Title IX administrator for another university, have been involved in human resources or counseling or served as an attorney either as a prosecutor or a public defender.

“Obviously, we’re looking for the absolute best person with experience and abilities to be able to effectively administer our Title IX program here at Mizzou,” Evans said.

Evans said there will be an opportunity for various university groups to meet the finalists. Through this process, he said, the committee hopes to receive further input on the candidates.

Evans said the new administrator will likely have an advisory committee that will provide feedback and make sure the administrator fulfills all of his or her duties.

“This is a position that’s going to be under a great deal of scrutiny, and a lot (is) going into developing our Title IX program,” he said. “It’s going to be pretty visible how they’re doing.”

Basi said members of the search committee are taking on their roles at no additional cost to the university. However, there will be other expenses associated with the search.

The search itself has a flexible budget that could change. Basi also said the salary of the Title IX administrator will be negotiated and is unknown at this time.

The committee hopes to begin interviewing potential candidates in December.

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