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The Daily Tar Heel

Brenda Malone balance two top jobs

Nearly a month into the semester, Chancellor Carol Folt is still working to fill out her administration.

And while Folt continues searching to fill some top positions, Brenda Malone will juggle two administrative jobs.

Malone is currently serving as vice chancellor for human resources — a position she has held since 2009 — and interim director for the Equal Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act Office.

The interim appointment was made after the previous director, Ann Penn, announced her retirement in July. Malone said the search for a replacement director has not yet begun.

As interim director, she oversees policies aimed at protecting equal opportunity and access for all students, faculty and staff and preventing discrimination and harassment.

Malone said she will also be directly involved in Title IX oversight, including through the handling of the Sexual Assault Task Force’s recommendations before they are sent to the chancellor.

Christi Hurt, interim Title IX coordinator and chairwoman of the task force, said the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office will affect sexual assault policy in many ways, as the office provides leadership and structural support for the task force.

“Now its position is to listen to the findings of the task force on what the community needs and, ultimately, for them to take those recommendations forward,” she said.

The University is also looking for someone to fill Hurt’s position as Title IX coordinator for the University.

Sarah-Kathryn Bryan, an undergraduate member of the task force, said though the office’s former director was not entirely responsible for what she saw as the University’s inadequate response to sexual assault, she said she thought Penn did not recognize an important aspect of sexual assault on campus.

“Ann Penn failed to make the grievance process for University employees who had been sexually harassed or assaulted on the job accessible or effective,” Bryan said in an email.

Bryan said she thinks the University is continuing in the right direction by divvying up the work that Penn was responsible for during her tenure.

Malone said she is working hard to balance both jobs.

“I’m going to do my very best to keep the offices moving along in a positive and productive way,” she said. “I have, and the University has, a fundamental commitment to providing an environment where people feel cared for and respected.”

Hurt said she appreciates how responsive Malone has been to the positions’ demands.

“She’s a wonderful woman of action,” she said. “She is a leader, a thinker and an implementer.”

Taffye Benson Clayton, vice provost for diversity and multicultural affairs, said Malone’s extensive background as an attorney and nearly 30 years of experience in human resources make her an adept leader.

“She is more than capable of handling everything,” Clayton said. “She has shown that with a proven track record.”

Malone said it is an honor to have the chancellor ask her to serve in the role.

“It’s absolutely a challenge,” she said. “But it’s not an insurmountable challenge because of such talented, experienced individuals in both offices.”

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