Students walk to and from class at UC Berkeley. (Photo courtesy Shutterstock)

Students walk to and from class at UC Berkeley. (Photo courtesy Shutterstock)

UC creates new systemwide position to enforce sexual violence, harassment policy

The University of California has created a new systemwide position to enforce recently revised policies against sexual violence and harassment enacted in the wake of a series of scandals at UC Berkeley.

UC President Janet Napolitano announced that Kathleen Salvaty has been appointed as the systemwide Title IX coordinator. While each school is required to have a Title IX coordinator to ensure compliance with the federal Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits gender discrimination, she will be the first systemwide coordinator.Salvaty is a civil rights attorney who has been working as the

Salvaty is a civil rights attorney who has been working as the Title IX coordinator at UCLA since 2015. In her 15 years practicing law in New York and California, she has tackled issues such as police reform, public school funding and early education, UC officials said.

“Hiring Kathleen is a critical next step in making sure our recently overhauled policies to prevent, adjudicate and sanction sexual misconduct at UC are properly, and consistently, carried out,” Napolitano said in a statement.

“Her deep expertise and leadership in Title IX compliance will ensure the University remains at the forefront of advancements in this complex area and that each member of our UC community feels safe and respected,” Napolitano said.

Napolitano started taking a close look at the university system’s policies on sexual harassment and sexual violence following a series of revelations at the UC Berkeley campus in 2015 and 2016.

Assistant men’s basketball coach Yann Hufnagel resigned last April after allegations surfaced that he had sexually harassed a reporter covering the team. Hufnagel’s resignation came less than a week after law school dean Sujit Choudhry resigned as dean after he was accused in a lawsuit of sexually harassing his assistant.

The scrutiny after those events led the university to escalate reviewing and reforming its sexual harassment policies, a process that was already underway after accusations surfaced in 2015 that astronomy professor Geoff Marcy had been sexually harassing students for years.

Napolitano formed a task force for a systemwide review of sexual harassment policies and ordered new education and training, but scandals at Berkeley have continued to surface: in November, a graduate student accused professor Nezar AlSayyad of sexually harassing her for years.

Salvaty will assume the systemwide Title IX coordinator role on Feb. 6.

“I’m honored to take on such a critical role, especially for a top-flight public university that continually takes on tough challenges and strives to make its Title IX processes as fair and equitable as possible,” Salvaty said in a statement. “I’m excited to work with the Title IX coordinators systemwide to make even more positive changes and safeguard equal access to education,” she said.Sexual assaultUC BerkeleyUniversity of California

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