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TCU creates new office to handle Title IX complaints, modifies reporting process

The Brown-Lupton University Union. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

Title IX complaints will now be handled through the new Office of Institutional Equity, which has streamlined the process for filing and monitoring submissions.

The announcement came in an email to the campus community from Chief Inclusion Officer Dr. Darron Turner on Sept. 3.

According to the email, the creation of the office will result in “increased capacity and focus to achieve Texas Christian University’s strategic priorities of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

The OIE will focus on Title IX complaints and allegations regarding discrimination, harassment, retaliation and sexual misconduct, while the ODI will continue to plan and promote a more inclusive campus.

Turner also wrote that students will now be able to file Title IX complaints directly through the OIE in a streamlined process, creating a “single point of contact for tracking submissions and monitoring the process through the resolution stage.”

The new director of the OIE is Sharon Fernandes Gooding. Gooding was promoted to this position after serving as TCU’s coordinator of diversity and inclusion in the ODI since August 2019, according to her LinkedIn page.

The new director of the Office of Institutional Equity, Sharon Fernandes Gooding. (Photo courtesy of TCU.)

The new Title IX coordinator is Andrea Vircks. She will enforce policies against discrimination on campus, as required under Title IX.

Vircks was originally hired by TCU in February 2018 as the deputy Title IX officer before being promoted to senior deputy Title IX officer in March 2019, according to the email.

In addition, Leigh Holland is now an OIE investigator, and Dr. Cheryl Taylor is a data analyst and investigator. 

Chancellor Victor Boschini also sent an email on Sept. 3 announcing the changes.

“[TCU is] indebted to the students and colleagues who have shared their experiences with us; we become better by acknowledging hurt and then enacting strategies that allow growth,” he wrote.

Boschini encouraged students to attend the first Diversity Day Virtual Conference. The theme is “REFLECT. REIMAGINE. RECONNECT.”

“[This theme] recognizes the need to reflect on our past as well as recognize the complex ways our lives intersect so that we can build a new movement focused on personal and systemic change,” Boschini said.  

The conference will feature keynote speaker Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, as well as four panels discussing intersectionality, anti-racism, racial healing and social activism, according to Boschini’s email.

The virtual conference will be Oct. 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Registration instructions for the event will be announced this week. 

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