The administration has eliminated the Title IX coordinator position in an effort to deal with the University’s $13.4 million budget deficit. Over the summer Ethan Snyder was hired as Title IX coordinator, but has recently left UP.
Tammy Herdener, associate vice president for student development, will be acting as the interim Title IX coordinator while the program undergoes restructuring. UP plans to outsource some of the Title IX tasks to an as-yet unnamed firm. Herdener is coming into this role with experience having been on the Title IX team last year and refreshing her certification this past July.
“I have been working pretty closely with Title IX not only here at UP, but at my previous institution and with interpersonal violence prevention education work for the past couple years,” Herdener said.
The announcement came late Thursday afternoon in a campus-wide email from President Robert Kelly.
“In evaluating models from other institutions, we studied examples in which well-trained, campus-based staff coordinate closely with external, independent support,” Kelly said.
Ongoing and pending Title IX matters will still be worked on and the University will continue to provide support services such as accommodations, mental health services, medical services, the Employee Assistance Program and more.
“We are absolutely 100% handling everything through the Title IX office,” Herdener said. “Nothing is slipping through the cracks. We are proceeding and moving forward with all current cases.”
The University is looking to finalize its agreement with an independent, external provider that will investigate future Title IX cases brought to UP. The provider was not named in the University’s statement.
“Additionally, the University will maintain its cohort of Confidential Employees, continue to coordinate the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Advisory Committee, and offer Green Dot Anti-Violence programming, among other initiatives,” Kelly said.
According to Herdener, these programs within the newly created committee are emphasized in order to help lower the number of Title IX cases on campus.
“What I want to see happen is this, this is interpersonal violence prevention work,” Herdener said at an ASUP meeting on Monday. “The only way that's going to work is if we all lean in hard on that interpersonal violence dimension.”
Kelly encouraged community members review resources available on the Title IX website and continue to report any incidents of sexual and gender-based harrassment, misconduct and violence to Title IX.
“We conclude by noting UP’s institutional commitment to fostering a community in which all members feel respected and safe,” Kelly said. “Sexual and gender-based harassment, misconduct and violence have no place at UP, are inconsistent with our mission and will not be tolerated.”
Brie Haro is the Editor-in-Chief of The Beacon and can be reached at email@example.com.
Kate Cuadrado contributed to this story and is the News and Managing Editor at The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.