Beginning March 1, the University’s Title IX compliance efforts will shift administratively to the UT’s Audit and Compliance Department.
For the last several years, Title IX had been housed in Human Resources and Talent Development.
The U.S. Justice Department explains Title IX as a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Its profile has expanded at universities across the country in recent years as institutions increase their focus on preventing and addressing sexual assault and harassment on their campuses.
UT President Sharon L. Gaber expressed her thanks to Jovita Thomas-Williams, vice president and chief human resources officer, for her leadership to elevate Title IX efforts to match university best practices across the country.
“Jovita, in partnership with Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president for student affairs, has led the integration of student, staff and faculty Title IX response into a single organizational structure, has coordinated an external assessment of Title IX by Ballard Spahr, and has started to initiate the firm’s suggested improvements,” Gaber said.
Given UT’s progress, Gaber said it is the right time to realign Title IX into the Audit and Compliance Department, under the leadership of David Cutri, director of internal audit and chief compliance officer.
Cutri highlighted the recent hiring of Clery Act Compliance Officer Meredith Blaine and said partnering Title IX and Clery Act compliance created many natural efficiencies for UT.
Cutri said he is working closely with Thomas-Williams during the transition, which started a few weeks ago.
“Title IX is at the core of maximizing our student experience, keeping our entire University community safe, and enabling students to maximize their potential,” Cutri said. “We will be working to ensure UT students, employees and community members recognize the benefits of Title IX compliance and the University’s steadfast commitment to it.”
Cutri also is working to finalize the hiring of a Title IX coordinator who would oversee the efforts of three deputy coordinators responsible for student, staff and faculty Title IX concerns.