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News, University News

Title IX Program Officer Rene Davis to leave U. for independent K-12 school

Since 2017, Davis has worked to refined Title IX policies, critically engage with U. community members

By
University News Editor
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Davis served as a facilitator in the Critical Consciousness Reading Group, served as a staff resource to student leaders of the Black Student Union from 2018 to 2019 and joined the founding board for BeingBlack@Brown.

Title IX Program Officer Rene Davis will leave the University in June to become assistant head of an independent K-12 school, according to a May 6 announcement from Russell Carey ’91 MA’06, executive vice president for planning and policy.

During her time at the University, Davis has worked to refine policies within the Title IX Office, which serves as a central resource on campus to report gender and sexual-based harassment. 

Outside her role in the Title IX and Gender Equity Office, Davis has engaged with community members and campus organizations. She served as a facilitator in the Critical Consciousness Reading Group, served as a staff resource to student leaders of the Black Student Union from 2018 to 2019 and joined the founding board for BeingBlack@Brown.

Davis has spent 24 years working in higher education, arriving at the University in 2017 with “an extensive background in student affairs and compliance,” Carey wrote. Prior to her appointment as Title IX program officer, Davis served as the Title IX and Section 504 coordinator at Mount Holyoke College.

Davis also previously worked for Alianza, formerly Womanshelter/Compañeras, as an administrator, volunteer coordinator and representative on the battered women’s shelter hotline, and engaged in female advocacy work at Girls Inc., before subsequently moving into administrative roles in higher education, The Herald previously reported.

Her work in Title IX coincided with national scrutiny concerning the treatment of sexual violence on a legislative level. The 2017 virality of the #MeToo movement — a term coined by activist Tarana Burke in 2006 to foster community among women of color who have experienced sexual violence — as well as the 2017 Women’s March prompted conversations about sexism, harassment and sexual assault at many institutions of higher education, including Brown.

Davis “has been committed to sustaining strong relationships across the campus with a particular emphasis on building trusting relationships with students,” Carey added. “She has used her expertise to work with faculty, staff and students in addressing reports of sexual and gender-based harassment while engaging the community in prevention and awareness programming.”

“We are deeply grateful to Rene for her contributions to the diversity, equity and inclusion work at Brown and for all she has done for students, faculty and staff over the past several years, and wish her great success and happiness in the next phase of her career,” Carey wrote.

Effective June 1, Jeana Horton, current institutional equity investigator at the University’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, will serve as the interim Title IX program officer as the University undertakes a national search for Davis’s successor. This search will commence after the completion of the ongoing search for a new vice president for institutional equity and diversity.

“My experience as an Institutional Equity Investigator in OIED will certainly inform how I approach this interim role,” Horton wrote in an email to The Herald. “I have gained a lot of knowledge about the University and the Title IX Office.”

Prior to arriving at the University in 2020, Horton served as Title IX coordinator and institutional compliance officer at Lincoln Memorial University, where she worked to ensure adherence to civil rights laws and investigate instances of discrimination and harassment.

“Rene accomplished a lot as Title IX Program Officer and I hope to guide the Title IX office with the same dedication as Rene,” Horton added. “I hope to provide a seamless transition, both as Rene leaves and when the University welcomes a new Title IX program officer.”

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