Wake Forest University has established a Title IX 2020 Implementation Task Force led by Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue and Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives Kami Chavis.
The group, which held its first meeting on June 3, was established following changes announced in early May by the U.S. Department of Education regarding how colleges and universities must handle sexual-assault and sexual-harassment complaints. The new regulations increase protections for accused students and employees and take effect Aug. 14.
Among the most notable changes, institutions must now hold live hearings and allow cross-examination when deciding sexual-misconduct complaints. The new federal regulations are the first regulatory revisions in 45 years to the federal gender-equity law and will also limit the scope of complaints colleges and universities are required to investigate.
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.
Interim Title IX Coordinator
Vice President for Campus Life
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:
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.
Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives
Dr. Penny Rue
Vice President for Campus Life
In recognition of Campus Fire Safety Month, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey is partnering with Wake Forest this month to raise awareness of campus fire safety.
Sept. 18 is Campus Safe NC Day for North Carolina colleges and universities. The Wake Forest event is one of several similar efforts by the State of North Carolina on campuses to inform college students how to avoid injury due to fire.
An event at 10 a.m. on Sept. 18 will involve Winston-Salem firefighters setting fire to a mock dorm room outside Scales Fine Arts Center. It will take place in the traffic circle outside Scales on a flatbed trailer especially set up for the demonstration. The demonstration is intended to demonstrate how sprinkler systems in University and college residence halls can save lives.
The event is open to students, faculty, staff and others.
The Wake Forest event is one of several similar efforts by the State of North Carolina on campuses to inform college students how to avoid injury due to fire.
Several speakers will be present at the Wake Forest event. They include: Commissioner and Fire Marshall Causey,Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue, Winston-Salem Fire Chief Trey Mayo, Dr. Anju Bakhshi Saraswat of the Wake Forest Baptist Burn Center, T.J. McLamb of the Fayetteville Fire Department, and Chief State Fire Marshal Brian Taylor.
Wake Forest departments that offer safety programs for students, faculty and staff will host Campus Safe Day activities in Benson University Center, Room 401 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. featuring door prizes, food and safety information.
Following is a list of Campus safety partners who will participate:
· Environmental Health and Safety
· University Police
· Emergency Management
· Residence Life and Housing
· Facilities and Campus Services
· Counseling Center / Suicide Prevention Program
· Information Systems
· Student Health / Student EMTs
· Deacon One
· Office of Chaplain
Categories: Inside WFU
Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue and Dean of the College Michele Gillespie will speak April 10 at Campus Connections, hosted by Provost Rogan Kersh and Executive Vice President Hof Milam.
Campus Connections will take place from 8:45 to 10 a.m. in Benson University Center, Room 401. A light breakfast will be available.
Rue’s presentation is entitled “Hot Topics Update.” Gillespie’s is entitled “Inclusive Excellence in the College.”
An update on the Arts Council campaign will be provided, too.