UNC’s Title IX office will expand again this year — and the University has chosen the office’s leader after a months-long search.
Howard Kallem, the District of Columbia Enforcement Office’s chief regional attorney for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, will hold the position beginning Jan. 2.
sexual assault changes
The University has made several changes since federal complaints were filed this year:
- UNC hired a Title IX coordinator and Deputy Title IX coordinator.
- A sexual assault task force was formed to examine UNC’s policies.
- UNC will hire an additional Title IX investigator and a communications position for the Title IX office.
Brenda Malone, vice chancellor for human resources and interim director of the Equal Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act Office, said Kallem was the “perfect person” for the position because of his experience.
The University faces three federal investigations into its handling of sexual assault, including one that alleges UNC violated the rights of sexual assault victims and created a hostile environment for students reporting sexual assault.
As Title IX coordinator, Kallem will coordinate UNC’s compliance with federal guidelines and will oversee campus training, education and outreach on Title IX issues, including sexual assault on campus.
Kallem has 19 years of experience with the Office for Civil Rights as well as 14 year with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Christi Hurt, director of the Carolina Women’s Center, has held the position during the search for a permanent hire and has chaired the University’s sexual assault task force, which is rewriting UNC’s policies relating to sexual assault.
Chancellor Carol Folt will also hire two more positions geared towards sexual assault: an additional Title IX investigator and a communications position for the department.
These would be the fourth and fifth positions that UNC has created this year to target sexual violence on campus.
Jayne Grandes, an investigator for the Equal Opportunity/ADA office who was hired this year, said Kallem impressed her when he spoke at UNC’s public forum for candidates in September.
“He has a great sensitivity for Title IX issues, plus he has the compliance experience, so he knows what’s expected of universities very clearly,” she said. “I remember him articulating that in a very reasonable way.”
Before UNC’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Ew Quimbaya-Winship, was hired last year, the University faced criticism for not seeking public input in its search.
UNC held two public forums in September for the two Title IX Coordinator candidates, and about 20 people attended each forum.
Junior Sarah-Kathryn Bryan, a member of the sexual assault task force, said the forums were beneficial.
“I would have liked for there to have been another set of interviews and better publicized,” she said. “Students have irregular and generally very busy schedules, it makes it very difficult to show up.”
Bryan she hopes Kallem approaches the position similarly to Hurt.
“(Hurt) comes to her position with a background in sexual assault survivor advocacy. She thinks about the bigger picture at play … she approaches policy work and dealing with individuals from a holistic perspective.”
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