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Interim Title IX coordinator appointed following ECRC director departure

In an effort for the Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance to continue providing the same level of care and service to Ohio University students, faculty and staff, a change in leadership will take place following the departure of the office’s director at the beginning of this month.

Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit says Inya Baiye, who also served as the University’s Title IX coordinator, is leaving OHIO to pursue an opportunity at an institution out-of-state. Her last day was Nov. 4. Nick Olesky, a Title IX investigator in the ECRC office, will take on the role of interim Title IX coordinator effective Nov. 5. Assistant Director of Civil Rights Compliance Jessica Cook, who joined the team in October, will assume administrative leadership of the office.

In addition to these changes in the ECRC office, Benoit says a search will begin to identify an executive director of Civil Rights and Accessibility who will replace Baiye’s role as Director of ECRC, as well as the closely affiliated Office of Equal Opportunity and Accessibility (EOA). Both offices will remain intact as separate but collaborative offices. The two offices were established over the summer in a reorganization of the former Office of Institutional Equity. The reorganization was part of a proactive approach to best serve the needs of the Ohio University community with increased focus and support. Benoit explained that after some time evaluating the new structure, it was determined that the addition of an executive director position would aid in the collaboration of the offices and their direct connection to the provost’s office.

The two offices will continue to work closely during the transition to support one another. EOA Assistant Director Kerri Griffin will support the ECRC office with discrimination and harassment cases and EOA Director and ADA/504 Coordinator Dianne Bouvier will offer consultation when needed.

“The work that is performed in our Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance is vital to the safety and wellbeing of our students, employees, and guests of Ohio University,” said Benoit. “We are fortunate to have within that office, as well as within EOA, many capable, qualified individuals who can take up this important work to continue serving the University community.”

The Office for Equal Opportunity and Accessibility oversees the University’s ADA/504 compliance obligations. Dianne Bouvier, who served as the interim executive director in the Office for Institutional Equity for the past two years, will assume the role of the director and ADA/504 coordinator in this new office structure. The Office for Equal Opportunity and Accessibility is responsible for coordinating University policies and procedures relating to persons living with disabilities, assuring campus accessibility and inclusion, and promoting equal opportunity within our employment and educational environments. EOA is charged with monitoring the institution’s compliance with state and federal regulations under the American with Disabilities Act, the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and affirmative action.

The Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance houses the University’s Title IX coordinator. ECRC is responsible for coordinating and monitoring all aspects of the University’s Title IX compliance including University policies and grievance procedures relating to Title IX, notification, investigation and disposition of complaints; and provision of educational materials and training for the campus community. ECRC is also responsible for conducting investigations of complaints received pursuant to civil rights laws such as Title VII, Title IX, the Equal Pay Act and the ADEA; and for ensuring a fair and neutral process for all parties.