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Title IX resources and personnel undergo changes

<e and the resources surrounding sexual misconduct prevention and response at Carleton have undergone several changes going into the 2018-19 academic year. The updates include the creation of a new sexual violence prevention coordinator position as well as the addition of Professor Heidi Jaynes to the Title IX lead Team.

Students, faculty, and staff were alerted to many of the changes through an all-campus email last Friday, September 21.

The new sexual violence prevention coordinator position includes responsibility for Carleton’s existing prevention programs, such as the online EverFi course taken by first-year students and the bystander intervention program Green Dot.

Title IX Coordinator Laura Riehle-Merrill also envisions the prevention coordinator helping create an on-campus dialogue about how Carleton’s prevention efforts can be extended. She described the position as “a huge addition of resources” to the issue of sexual violence prevention on campus.

Riehle-Merrill began her position as Carleton’s first full-time Title IX coordinator last year. She said she saw the need for additional sexual misconduct prevention support to further increase the capacity of the Title IX office.

“I just knew that we needed more time and staffing around prevention, otherwise that’s all we’re going to be doing is responding to what is currently happening,” she said. Riehle-Merrill dealt with 80 student cases last year. Three of them resulted in formal complaints.

Title IX Investigator Mary Dunnewold said that allocating more resources to prevention has been a topic of discussion for several years. “I have great hopes for this prevention position because we do put a lot of our time and resources just by necessity into being responsive,” she said. “It’s great to see that we’re expanding the staff and we’ll have more capacity to do more kinds of programs and to meet students’ needs.”

Riehle-Merrill said she hopes that the new position will allow for new programming at Carleton in the future. She is intrigued by colleges that have adopted a four-year developmental model surrounding sexual misconduct prevention, with opportunities for students of all class years.

The new position was first posted on Carleton’s website several weeks ago. Riehle-Merrill hopes to have the position filled by winter term.
Title IX at Carleton is also undergoing several other shifts in personnel and distribution of responsibilities.

Dunnewold, who has held the roles of Title IX investigator and Title IX deputy for faculty and staff for the past five years, is reducing her role to focus on investigations alone. She will now also conduct sexual misconduct investigations at other institutions. Dunnewold remains a Carleton employee and describes Carleton as her “first priority.” She retains responsibility for conducting formal investigations and responding to community concern forms involving faculty and staff.

Dunnewold’s previous role as Title IX deputy for faculty and staff is filled by Professor and Associate Athletic Director Heidi Jaynes. Jaynes’s responsibilities include overseeing Title IX training for faculty and staff as well as contributing to Title IX policy and procedure updates.

“Heidi, in her role in the athletic department, is already really knowledgeable about all the components of Title IX that are equity-focused, so she brings that experience to our Title IX lead team,” said Riehle-Merrill.

Dean of the College Beverly Nagel said that because the Investigator and Deputy roles are “very different and separate,” the division of the position will not affect Title IX at Carleton, “except by bringing an additional voice to the team.”

When hired, the sexual violence prevention coordinator will also take responsibility for some aspects of Dunnewold’s previous role.

The addition of the sexual violence prevention coordinator position will also shift some of the responsibility for sexual misconduct prevention programming away from the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC). In the past, the GSC has collaborated with the Title IX Office on programs such as Green Dot Bystander Intervention. Riehle-Merrill emphasized that prevention efforts have been and will remain collaborative. However, “The Title IX Office will be taking the lead on sexual violence prevention,” she said.

These changes coincide with the hiring process for a new director of the GSC after the departure of Laura Haave at the end of last academic year. Assistant Dean of Students Sindy Fleming said via email correspondence that the college hopes to have three candidates for the position of GSC Director participate in on-campus interviews during the first two weeks of October. The position start date is December 1, 2018.

Fleming said via email correspondence that the GSC is not currently understaffed compared to winter or spring term of the last academic year. The office is currently staffed by Interim Assistant Director Rae Horton and Roseanne Galegher, a temporary administrative assistant. Horton, Fleming, and several student Gender and Sexuality Center Associates declined to comment on Haave’s departure.

Dean of Students Carolyn Livingston said that the vacancy at the GSC as well as the shift in Dunnewold’s responsibilities “presented a chance to make some staffing changes” within Title IX over the summer. She added that the continued role of the GSC in sexual misconduct prevention and response “will be determined in the future.”

According to Dunnewold, the ultimate decisions about the changes to Title IX were made by President Steven Poskanzer, Dean Livingston, and Vice President Fred Rogers, with input from members of the Title IX lead team and others.

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