"Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue" Archive

A Message on Behalf of Vice President Rue

Dear Wake Forest community,

Recent social media posts, a student-organized demonstration on campus and an online petition claim that Wake Forest University has taken actions that undermine the safety and security of our community. We support our students in mobilizing to speak out about critical and painful topics.

Currently, University administrators are reaching out to schedule meetings with groups of students to hear concerns and talk about how the student conduct and Title IX processes work. We want to assure our community that those involved in conduct cases receive our full and intensive attention, and we take such matters very seriously.

We have systems and protocols in place to treat every student with integrity and compassion. Student conduct processes are complex, and cases alleging sexual misconduct are among the most complex faced by university student conduct systems. While the University adheres to federal law (FERPA) that prevents us from discussing the details of any student conduct case, University personnel adhere to well-established policies and procedures — including the Code of Conduct and Title IX — that apply equally to all students.

Wake Forest offers significant resources to support our students in times of need, and we are working to provide care for the students who have been affected and need the support of our community.

We are grateful to the students, faculty and staff who are coming together to continue to raise awareness about the importance of preventing and responding to sexual and other kinds of misconduct on our campus, and we remain committed to this ongoing work.


Penny Rue
Vice President for Campus Life

A message from President Hatch

Dear Wake Forest Community,

For the past eight years, Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue has been a transformative leader at Wake Forest.

Dr. Rue has demonstrated a remarkable ability to both lead a complex organization and personally connect with individual students. The University has made great strides in so many areas of Campus Life, including Residence Life & Housing, Health and Wellbeing, University Police and the Office of the Dean of Students.

Today, Dr. Rue announced her plans to retire as vice president.

She joined Wake Forest in July 2013 and took on broad responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of students and their education outside the classroom.

Her vision for comprehensive wellbeing led to the expansion of the Reynolds gym into the state-of-the-art Wake Forest Wellbeing Center and the creation of the Thrive program. She has elevated campus conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion. From establishing the Police Accountability Task Force to hiring the first Title IX director, she has put caring people and essential programs in place to strengthen our community.

Dr. Rue, as a national higher education leader, has brought that wider perspective to her work at Wake Forest. She served as Board Chair for NASPA, the leading association for student affairs professionals, and she testified before Congress regarding sexual assault policy in higher education.

I am grateful for her service to our students, her essential role in navigating the COVID crisis on campus, and for all she has done for the health and wellbeing of the Wake Forest community.

The Provost will organize a search committee to select the new Vice President for Campus Life.


Nathan O. Hatch

WFU committee working to implement new Title IX regulations

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. 

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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

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