By Elena Shao
As the University looks to hire a new full time Title IX Coordinator following the announcement of current Coordinator Cathy Glaze’s retirement, Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) President Shanta Katipamula ’19 and Vice President Rosie Nelson — a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Education — have called for students to take part in the interviewing and selection process.
The new Coordinator will hold the title “Title IX Coordinator and Director of Equity Investigations.” The expanded role will include working with the Sexual Harassment Policy Office, the Diversity and Access Office, Employee and Labor Relations and Human Resources managers to “ensure consistency of investigations at the university relating to harassment and discrimination,” according to the job posting.
Currently, the University’s Title IX search committee — which consists of faculty, staff, and one student representative — is responsible for identifying candidates and making the final decision. This year, however, the ASSU seeks to allow many stakeholders from the larger student community to give input on the selection process.
Katipamula said she has worked closely with Lauren Schoenthaler, the senior associate vice provost for institutional equity and access, in order to come up with a process for engaging a greater portion of students on campus.
After sending out an email to all students looking for those interested in participating, the ASSU convened a panel of student interviewers, composed of about 20 undergraduate and graduate students with varying experiences with the Title IX process, to present questions to the candidates.
“I wanted to make it very clear, even in my email, that it was the ASSU selecting students, as opposed to the University. Because otherwise, there could be the perception that the University is filtering student opinion,” Katipamula said. “While I don’t think that’s the case, that could be the perception.”
Student interviewers have been asked to prepare two questions, prioritizing one of them, and each student will be allotted time to ask at least one of their questions. According to Katipamula, the students have been advised to avoid questions on age, marital status and specific cases of Title IX investigations. Further, the committee plans to allow candidates to ask questions of students at the end of the interview panel.
“The hope is that … candidates will get a sense of what student perspective here is, and how students feel,” Katipamula said. “The questions candidates ask could also help inform students on the candidate’s perspective.”
The email also provided a form for students to leave anonymous suggestions for questions the candidates should answer in interviews, as well as “ideal characteristics” for the candidate selected as Title IX Coordinator.
Katipamula compared the process to the one that was used to hire the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Director at Vaden Health Center. She added that the CAPS Director selection process allowed for an open forum with each candidate that any student could attend.
With the Title IX Coordinator selection, Katipamula mentioned that the process includes interviews with student panelists to try to achieve something similar while staying within the constraints of confidentiality and privacy.
In an email to The Daily, Schoenthaler explained that candidates’ privacy ensures that their current employers will not become aware that they are seeking a position at Stanford.
“In order to attract the best candidates, [the search committee] has made a commitment to each candidate that their name will not be released publicly,” she wrote.
The search process for the new Title IX Coordinator differs from the February 2016 process that resulted in Glaze’s appointment. Glaze ’80 JD ’85, an internal hire, was associate dean [for student affairs] in the Stanford Law School before she was Title IX Coordinator.
Glaze noted that she did meet with students when interviewing for the job.
“[Meeting with students] allowed me to start establishing connections with the student leadership and to share my values of fairness, due process, and transparency,” she wrote in an email to The Daily. “I think that administrative offices, especially student-facing ones dealing with difficult issues, benefit tremendously from personal contact with students.”
Katipamula expressed her hope that the student interest in this process will provide grounds for ASSU and the student body to go back to the administration with other important issues that students want to engage in.
“Even during the busiest time of the quarter, we had more students apply than we could take,” she said. “I’m hopeful that this level of interest is something that we can have in other areas moving forward.”
One of the student panel interview sessions occurred last Monday, and the next will occur Tuesday, June 12. The search committee will make the final decision before Glaze retires in July after considering feedback from students, student interviewers and other University interviewers including faculty and staff.
Contact Elena Shao at eshao98 ‘at’ stanford.edu.