Vanderbilt redesigns equal employment, student accessibility and Title IX services

Vanderbilt University’s Division of Administration on Jan. 15 will launch a new design for Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Disability Services.

EAD staff provide a wide range of services and support to address the varying needs of students, faculty and staff. The new service model increases focus and specialized services in three priority areas: equal employment opportunity (nondiscrimination/anti-harassment, faculty/staff accommodations, and affirmative action program pursuant to Vanderbilt’s requirements as a federal contractor), Title IX (gender equity, sexual misconduct), and accessibility.

Vice Chancellor for Administration Eric Kopstain (Vanderbilt University)

Going forward, students, faculty and staff will have access to an Equal Employment Opportunity Office, a Student Access Services Office and a Title IX Office. The new offices will officially open Monday, Jan. 15. Each office has a director who will report directly to Vice Chancellor for Administration Eric Kopstain.

“Demand for university support in these areas has grown exponentially in recent years—and the changes will address that need. This new approach stems from a process begun months ago, and through listening to stakeholders and looking at peers, we have determined that Vanderbilt needs separate, dedicated offices to enhance our ability to provide timely, comprehensive and professional support services,” Kopstain said.

“The university is committed to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for everyone. The aim of this redesign is to provide best-in-class services that ensure our community members are protected from discrimination and misconduct, and that reports of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual assault and other types of sexual misconduct are investigated as thoroughly and quickly as possible,” he said.

The decision was made after thorough analysis and a stakeholder engagement process, which included interviews and feedback from students, staff and faculty.

Molly Zlock, who joined Vanderbilt Dec. 1, 2017, as Title IX compliance manager, will serve as director of the Title IX Office and as Vanderbilt’s Title IX coordinator. In addition to handling issues related to gender equity and reports of sexual misconduct, Zlock’s office will handle all student reports of discrimination in an effort to streamline reporting for students. Tiffany Taylor will be interim director of Student Access Services, and Anita Jenious will serve as director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

“The directors will have the support they need to provide the services students, faculty and staff require, and they are working to ensure the transition to this new model minimizes as much as possible any disruptions or delays to those who have pending matters that began with EAD,” Kopstain said.

New websites for the offices will go live Monday, Jan. 15.