After 3 1/2 years in her position as the director of Title IX compliance/Title IX coordinator at UNC, Adrienne Allison will be stepping away from the role. While conducting the search for Allison’s replacement, the University also looks to fill the new position of senior prevention strategy officer.
Expansion of leadership to address Title IX is not unfamiliar. In 2013, the University appointed Howard Kallem, Allison’s predecessor, as the Title IX coordinator, under the leadership of then-Chancellor Carol Folt. At the same time, UNC hired an additional Title IX investigator, deputy Title IX coordinator and a communications position for the office.
Here's how UNC's leadership of its efforts to prevent interpersonal violence will change in the future.
Allison steps away
Allison served as the Title IX associate coordinator at UNC before transitioning to her position as director of Title IX compliance/Title IX coordinator.
“It has been a privilege to work with the incredibly committed team of staff and campus partners who respond to reports of sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence with compassion, respect and urgency,” Allison said in a statement from Media Relations.
During her work with Title IX at UNC, Allison said the University enhanced its response system to sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence, citing:
- The expansion of the report and response coordinators team
- The development of online reporting methods
- The maintenance of discretion in how to address the full scope of sexual misconduct and harassment in the UNC community in the wake of new Title IX regulations from the federal government.
“My successor in this role will have a unique partnership with the incoming senior prevention strategy officer, and I am optimistic that the University’s increased investment in sexual and interpersonal violence prevention will affect meaningful and measurable change in our campus culture,” Allison said in the statement.
To ensure a seamless transition, Allison will remain in her role until a new director is hired, Elizabeth Hall, interim associate vice chancellor for Equal Opportunity and Compliance, said in a statement.
Senior prevention strategy officer
In addition to a new Title IX coordinator, UNC created a position within the Office of Student Affairs that Hall said will provide direction for interpersonal violence prevention through the development of a cross-campus strategy.
“These two positions will work together to coordinate a holistic approach to gender-based violence on our campus," Hall said in the statement.
The senior prevention strategy officer will report to Amy Johnson, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, and oversee Student Wellness. Johnson said the new position will collaborate with campuswide resources, including the Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Compliance and the Office of the Provost.
“It is really designed to have a pan-campus focus, recognizing that we want to have somebody who sort of brings together all of these resources and tries to make sure that we’re all sort of moving forward with a collective goal and focus,” Johnson said.
Former Vice Chancellors Felicia Washington and Winston Crisp developed the Violence Prevention Task Force in 2015 in order to address gender-based violence. In January 2020, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz announced a $2 million commitment to sexual assault prevention, intervention and support. The UNC Gender-Based Violence Prevention Advisory Group formed in June in order to revisit the report of the initial task force.
Finally, a campuswide email sent on Feb. 17 announced the search for the new senior prevention strategy officer, a position created as part of Guskiewicz’s commitment.
“So, we’ve been engaged in a long-standing conversation about this to demonstrate that commitment,” Johnson said. “This position is a continued sort of demonstration of our evolution and our responsibility to address this on campus for students, faculty and staff.”
The University has engaged a nationwide search for the new senior prevention strategy officer, Johnson said. Katie Nolan, executive director of strategy, policy and special projects within Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Compliance, is the chairperson of the search for the officer. Johnson said the selection committee includes both undergraduate and graduate student representation.
The selection committee for the senior prevention strategy officer hosted open forums for the four finalists between Feb. 23 and March 8, which the University community was invited to attend via Zoom.
“We understand that this is a process in which we pick a candidate and they also pick us," Johnson said. "And so, I think all of us need to bring our 'A' game to the table to be able to make an informed choice.”
With the final four candidates identified for the new position, Johnson hopes to hire the senior prevention strategy officer in the spring and have them start as soon as is feasible.
No additional details of progress in the search for a new director of Title IX compliance/Title IX coordinator have been released.
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