University News

Brown hires first-ever Title IX program officer

New coordinator proposes improved communication, team approach to sexual assault response

By
Senior Staff Writer
Friday, April 3, 2015

Amanda Walsh, staff attorney at the Victim Rights Law Center, has been appointed the University’s first-ever, full-time Title IX program officer, President Christina Paxson P’19 announced in a community-wide email Thursday. Walsh’s appointment concludes a national search that began in August and involved approximately 100 candidates.

Walsh will officially begin her duties of overseeing the University’s sexual assault policy and prevention efforts May 4. Her main priority upon assuming her role will be to “hear about people’s experiences, both good and bad,” she said, adding that she wants to “make sure that different representative groups are heard from.”

“One of the consistent things I heard on campus, meeting with people, was that there was a lack of communication,” Walsh said. She hopes to establish a team approach that would “allow for a centralized space for all the information to go.”

The University currently has five deputy Title IX coordinators who respond to undergraduate, graduate, faculty, staff and medical student complaints, respectively, said Liza Cariaga-Lo, vice president for academic development, diversity and inclusion, adding that all five coordinators also have other duties across the University.

Walsh’s addition would centralize the process, because she and the deputy Title IX coordinators would convene on all Title IX-related efforts, Cariaga-Lo said.

Walsh currently works for Victim Rights Law Center, a nonprofit organization in Boston. Her previous responsibilities include working with victims of sexual assault on college campuses or in K-12 settings, filing complaints with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and facilitating communication between institutions and students.

“She has represented high school and college victims of sexual violence, trained educational administrators on campus sexual violence issues and advocated for clients at administrative and legal proceedings, including university disciplinary hearings,” Paxson wrote in the campus-wide email.

Walsh pursued her undergraduate studies at Northeastern University and obtained a law degree from the Roger Williams School of Law, Paxson wrote.

“I’m so glad that we’re finally filling the position. This is long overdue,” said Maahika Srinivasan ’15, a member of the Title IX officer search committee. Walsh is “incredibly qualified … and had a trauma-informed survivor focus that was really appealing to the two undergraduates, graduate student and medical school student on the committee,” she added.

“I’m just thrilled that she agreed in a time when so many of our other peer institutions are searching” for a Title IX coordinator, Cariaga-Lo said.

“My reaction was one of complete excitement,” Walsh said. “I think that Brown can really be a leader in this area.”

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  • Student

    This is a joke. If anything happens to you, go to the police.

    • Lerner

      That’s right. Providence PD, not Brown DPS. Also whatever you do, have in your plan to sue that dean, and possibly her boss.

  • Stephen J. O’Rourke

    A wonderful lady I’m sure, but 5 assistants and a coordinator! What a bloody waste of funds. I’m not surprised, though. All institutions are hounded by this litigious culture we live in.

    • Kevin Carty

      I believe those 5 current coordinators will stop being coordinators once Ms. Walsh is placed. That is what we activists pushed for, and I believe it is what the University will do.

    • Concerned Alum 01

      Brown University: Last in the Ivy League, #1 in social justice!

  • Concerned Alum

    Oh Yay, more campus rape hysteria.

    • Crois Pocksin

      I see your point. Somebody raped your mother, but there is no hysteria at all in your family. I suppose that is admirable.

  • GS 16

    Great, let’s throw bureaucracy at the problem…