"Associate Provost Kami Chavis" Archive

Update on Title IX regulations from the Wake Forest administration

The following message was emailed to students, faculty and staff on May 13 by Wake Forest Communications and External Relations on behalf of Associate Provost Kami Chavis, Interim Title IX Coordinator Tonya Deem and Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue:

Dear Wake Forest students, faculty and staff,

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education issued new Title IX regulations mandating how all educational institutions that receive federal funding must respond to complaints of sexual misconduct. Wake Forest University is carefully reviewing these new regulations, which take effect on August 14, 2020.

At this time, the most important thing to know is that the safety and wellbeing of our campus community will always be our highest priority. We assure you that our institutional commitment to preventing, responding to and providing a fair process regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault remains resolute.

Additionally, we would be remiss not to acknowledge that these regulations come at a time when we are experiencing unprecedented disruption in University life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to compliance with federal law, and we also know implementation will put additional strain on some students, faculty and staff within our community.

Compliance with the new regulations will require Wake Forest and other colleges and universities to amend institutional policies related to sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence. The University’s implementation of the new regulations will be led by the Office of the Provost, the Title IX Office and the Division of Campus Life, and will include consultation with key stakeholders, including faculty and students. The university will provide information to our students, faculty and staff prior to implementing any new policies.

Despite these challenges, please know that the University’s Safe Office, Title IX Office, and the University Counseling Center remain open during this time to provide supportive resources and reporting options. Information about these resources, options, and the University’s sexual misconduct policies can be found on the Title IX Office webpage.

We will share periodic updates this summer to keep our community informed. In the meantime, Wake Forest’s current Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and current Faculty and Staff Sexual Harassment Policy remain in place.


Kami Chavis
Associate Provost

Tonya Deem
Interim Title IX Coordinator

Penny Rue
Vice President for Campus Life

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Administrators announce upcoming departure of Tanya Jachimiak, search for successor

The following announcement by Vice President Penny Rue and Associate Provost Kami Chavis was e-mailed earlier to Campus Life staff and some others at Wake Forest:

Dear colleagues,

It is with both a celebratory spirit and sadness that we announce that Tanya Jachimiak will assume the role of Associate Vice President for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance at Michigan State University. Tanya’s last day at Wake Forest will be January 23, 2020. In this significant new role, Tanya will oversee MSU’s Office for Institutional Equity and the Office for Prevention, Outreach and Education. We are thrilled for this amazing opportunity for our colleague.

Tanya joined Wake Forest five years ago as our inaugural tull-time Title IX Coordinator for the Reynolda Campus, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and Bowman Gray School for Medical Education, later also assuming responsibility for Section 504 compliance. She has been in the forefront in the charge of fostering a campus community that strives to prevent unlawful gender discrimination and sexual misconduct in all their forms. Tanya has led our campus’s compassionate response to, and support of, those affected by sexual misconduct, while being dedicated to the equitable treatment of persons accused of wrongdoing. Among her contributions to our community, Tanya co-chaired the campus Culture of Respect initiative, a strategic planning process grounded in a comprehensive, evidenced-based, ongoing self-assessment regarding the prevention of sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct on the Wake Forest campus. Additionally, she chaired the Bias Incident Response Team and was a co-chair of the President’s Committee on the Intersection of Expression, Bias, and Code of Conduct.

Tanya has done her work with integrity, enthusiasm, and optimism. She has earned the trust of people throughout campus through her dedication, commitment, and fair-mindedness. She has played an extremely critical role at our university throughout her tenure here and consistently provided thoughtful insights and has navigated complex issues with skill and professionalism.

While Tanya’s departure is a loss for our community, this transition does not affect our university’s ongoing commitment to preventing sexual assault, inter-personal violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. Offices from across our campus will continue their work collaboratively to both prevent and respond to the needs of our community as it relates to these issues. A comprehensive search for a new Director of the Title IX Office/Section 504 Coordinator/Title IX Coordinator will begin early in the spring semester of 2020 and an interim will be named in January prior to Tanya’s departure.

We will follow up soon with information regarding opportunities to celebrate Tanya and all the amazing work she has accomplished here.


Kami Chavis
Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives

Dr. Penny Rue
Vice President for Campus Life

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WFU's Slavery, Race and Memory Project underway

Over the past few years, Wake Forest University has been committed to acknowledging and understanding the role slavery played in its past. In 2016, Wake began taking a deep dive into its history, and in 2017 it joined Universities Studying Slavery (USS), a consortium of colleges and universities that are examining the role slavery played on their campuses. Out of that work came the Slavery, Race and Memory Project, for which a website was unveiled this summer.

“There are many universities that have, over the past couple of decades, begun grappling with their relationship and connections to slavery,” said Kami Chavis, associate provost for academic initiatives and co-chair of the Steering Committee for the Project. “It’s important to understand those relationships because they can and do have implications for today.”

The Steering Committee has identified several core elements to this multi-year project, including:

  • Creating a lecture series to broaden awareness about topics related to the Project’s mission.
  • Developing or enhancing courses that incorporate the role of slavery in higher education.
  • Supporting student and faculty research on related topics.
  • Examining how to transform some of Wake’s traditions to better reflect a more comprehensive history.

“It is critical for this Project to be imbued with the principles of truth, integrity, legitimacy and transparency, around which we’ve agreed to work,” said Chavis.

Visit the University news page to read more about “Understanding Wake Forest’s history with slavery.”

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Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Collaborative appointed

Betsy Barre

On March 15, Kami Chavis, Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives, emailed this announcement to faculty and staff:

Dear Wake Forest faculty and staff,

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Betsy Barre has accepted the university’s offer to serve as our next Executive Director of the Teaching and Learning Collaborative. Betsy joins us from Rice University, where she is currently the Associate Director of their Center for Teaching Excellence.

Trained as a comparative ethicist, Betsy began her academic career as a faculty member in departments of religion and philosophy at two small liberal arts colleges: Marymount Manhattan in New York City and Lake Forest College in Chicago. She transitioned to a hybrid faculty-administrative role at Rice University in 2012, working in their newly developed Program in Writing and Communication. In this role, she taught a series of disciplinary-based first-year writing courses and led pedagogical programming for other faculty teaching within the program. Two years later, when Rice launched a formal teaching center, she was appointed as one of two founding Assistant Directors. And in 2016, she was promoted to Associate Director.

In these positions she developed and oversaw numerous instructional development initiatives, all with an eye toward reshaping the culture of an elite research university to further support, value, and ultimately reward excellent teaching on campus. With this came significant collaboration with key partners across campus to work toward significant organizational and institutional change.

Earlier this year, the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education selected her as the winner of the 2017 Innovation Award for the development of a tool to help faculty, students, and administrators estimate the out-of-class workload assigned in their courses.

Betsy will officially join us on May 14. My sincere appreciation to the search committee for their extensive involvement in this process: Chris Copeland (Divinity), Adam Friedman (Education), Laura Giovanelli (English), Kenny Herbst (Business), Shayla Herndon-Edmunds (Diversity and Inclusion), Alyssa Howards (German and Russian), Tony Marsh (Health and Exercise Science), Ellen Murphy (Law), and Tim Pyatt (ZSR). Many thanks, as well, to Kristi Verbeke who has served as the Interim Executive Director since fall 2017.

Betsy may be reached at barreea@nullwfu.edu. Please join me in welcoming Betsy to Wake Forest!

Kami Chavis
Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law

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