UPDATE: MU names interim Title IX coordinator

Monday, June 9, 2014 | 7:37 p.m. CDT; updated 3:53 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 10, 2014

*This story has been updated to include information about the three deputy Title IX coordinators.

COLUMBIA — MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin is making the position of Title IX coordinator a full-time job.

Loftin, in an email to MU students, staff and faculty, named Linda Bennett as interim Title IX coordinator. 

Bennett and her successors will be charged with overseeing the university's compliance efforts, reviewing current policies and developing faculty, staff and student training related to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said that some of the factors in Bennett's selection were her experience with faculty training programs and her 25 years as a university employee. Basi said he had no details about the selection process for a permanent coordinator at this time.

Bennett, who is currently an assistant to the provost and an associate professor of learning, teaching and curriculum, is expected to serve throughout the summer, according to the email.

*Former part-time Title IX coordinator Noel English will serve as one of three deputy Title IX coordinators assisting Bennett and will focus on issues involving faculty and staff.

Bennett said she and her team will work to remedy "issues with faculty, staff or students, as needs arise, when they don't feel they've been treated correctly as a woman on campus."

Cathy Scroggs, vice chancellor for student affairs, and Sarah Reesman, executive associate athletic director, will continue in their roles as deputy Title IX coordinators.

The announcement comes months after an ESPN "Outside the Lines" report stated that MU officials improperly handled the case of former Missouri athlete Sasha Menu Courey, according to previous Missourian reporting.

An executive order from UM System President Tim Wolfe in April obligated system employees to report sexual harassment and assault against students, provided they are not bound by confidentiality.

A report released later that week criticized MU's actions in the Menu Courey case and made suggestions for improving compliance with Title IX such as immediate reporting of sexual assaults of students on campus.

Supervising editor is Samuel Hardiman.

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