Deputy Provost Stephanie Spangler will assume a newly-created role to ensure the University complies with Title IX regulations, Provost Peter Salovey announced in a Monday email to the News.
Spangler will be responsible for supervising and training the existing Title IX coordinators — who monitor sexual misconduct on campus and make sure the University responds to concerns about gender discrimination — and “assessing the campus climate with respect to gender,” Salovey said. The University currently has 14 Title IX coordinators, including one for Yale College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, one for employees and one for each of the professional schools.
“Stephanie Spangler has been involved for many years as one of the University’s experts on various aspects of compliance — from research misconduct to laboratory safety to the protection of human subjects to the confidentiality of health information,” Salovey said. “She will now include sexual misconduct in her portfolio, having already assisted the University in this domain on a case-by-case basis.”
As required by federal law, Title IX coordinators have been on campus and available to students, faculty and staff for over 20 years, University spokesman Tom Conroy said in a Monday email, adding that the University already expanded the training given to Title IX coordinators this fall to include instruction on the structure and policies of the new University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct, which hears formal and informal complaints from across the University. Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Melanie Boyd ’90, who advises the Yale College dean on gender issues, said the Title IX coordinators, who are also administrators or faculty members, have a “much higher profile” on campus than in the past. She said students can also go directly to the UWC or to the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education Center.
The appointment comes after University President Richard Levin released the report of the Advisory Committee on Campus Climate last Thursday, which recommended increased training for Title IX coordinators and better communication with the community about their roles. The coordinators for each school are now listed on the new sexual misconduct response website the University unveiled along with the report.
The University is currently under investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for an alleged hostile sexual environment on campus, though the Advisory Committee’s report states that it is not intended to address the complaint or the investigation.
In a seven-page response he included with the Advisory Committee’s report, Levin announced that the new overseer of Title IX compliance would also release information each semester about the UWC’s cases.
Associate Dean of the Graduate School Pamela Schirmeister ’80 GRD ’88, who serves as Title IX coordinator for Yale College and the Graduate School, said that beyond on-campus training sessions this fall, the University paid for her to travel to Boston for two day-long seminars about Title IX issues.
Boyd said students can approach Title IX coordinators for advice when dealing with gender-based discrimination, and coordinators can also help students file complaints of sexual misconduct.
“The coordinators are able to provide information regarding criminal, disciplinary and other remedial options and are available to assist in informal remedies,” Conroy said.
Spangler has served as a deputy provost at the University since 1995 and for the last two years has also been associate vice president for West Campus planning and program development. She acts as a liaison between the Provost’s Office and the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health, Yale University Health Services and Environmental Health and Safety, among other health-related units.