This term, the Title IX Search Committee restarted its search for a full-time Title IX Coordinator, after its fall and winter term search failed.
“We did not have a consensus candidate,” said Search Committee Chair Heidi Jaynes in regards to why the Committee decided not to hire any of the three finalists it brought to campus during winter term.
Similarly, in an email to the campus Friday, March 3, Dean of Students Carolyn Livingston said, “Although each of the finalists offered strengths and valuable experiences, consensus did not emerge for any of these three candidates as clearly the right fit for Carleton at this time. Therefore, I have met with the Search Advisory Committee and have asked them to renew the search.”
However, Koehler Powell ’17, a member of the Search Committee, said, “I’m really not sure why none of these candidates were hired by the college. Even though I was able to attend the meeting where we discussed each candidate, the ultimate decision on who to hire was not necessarily made by us.”
“The reasoning that was passed onto me, though, was the exact reasoning presented in the email from Dean Livingston: No consensus candidate was found,” Powell added.
The three candidates invited to campus were selected based on their applications and phone interviews, according to Powell.
“Unfortunately, because the phone interviews actually occurred over winter break, only a handful of students on the committee were able to attend these,” she said. “I wasn’t able to, so I really can’t speak to why the candidates were chosen.”
While on campus, each candidate presented a 15-minute training activity and responded to a letter about sexual assault on campus, which was written by the CSA working group on rape culture last term. Then, the Search Committee deliberated on the three candidates.
“We were looking for a good mix of someone who had experience that meant they could come into Carleton and really get the ball rolling in terms of taking charge with Title IX, while still being very approachable and someone that the students could trust. I think those two things are not mutually exclusive,” said Tiffany Thet ’17, former CSA president and former member of the Title IX Search Committee.
“We had candidates that had a lot of experience, and we had candidates that were very personable, approachable and passionate and had all of these ideas they wanted to implement in the position, but they didn’t have as much experience.”
With the new round of applicants, Thet said, “I think we’re casting a wider net, in terms of letting the job posting go. Initially, we may not have given ourselves enough time to look for quality candidates.”
In addition, Livingston said the first search may have been limited because it is harder to hire people in the middle of the school year.
After deciding not to hire anyone last term, the Committee advertised the position in various national professional publications and listservs reposted the position description to the Dean of Students website in March, according to Livingston. The committee is now reading applications.
“As chair, I hope to find characteristics in our candidates that are being sought by each student, staff and faculty member on our committee, who were each selected as a representative of other voices on this campus,” said Jaynes.
“The committee is looking for a trustworthy and collegial collaborator who will embrace our students, educate our campus and lead us to continually strive for a safer and informed community.”
The Title IX Coordinator will oversee the college’s Title IX policies, procedures and practices and will foster a campus environment free of sex-based violence, according to the job description on the Dean of Students website.
Among other things, the Coordinator will ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations, oversee college Title IX complaints and develop Title IX policies and procedures.
Throughout the rest of the term, the Committee will discuss applicants, conduct phone interviews and decide which candidates to invite to campus, according to the Dean of Students website.
The Committee plans to bring candidates to campus in May and to offer the Title IX Coordinator position to someone in June. The hope is that someone will start working in the capacity of Title IX Coordinator by July.
Sarah Leong-Fern ’18 contributed reporting.