The University of Missouri has decided to make is Title IX coordinator a full time position. In a press release Monday MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced Dr. Linda Bennett will serve as the interim Title IX coordinator, effective immediately and likely lasting through the end of the summer. Bennett says she will be in charge of developing training on Title IX related issues for students and staff at MU as well as making sure MU complies with all Title IX requirements.
In the press release, Loftin was quoted as saying: “We have been working to improve coordination among law enforcement, our Title IX coordinator and the Office of Student Conduct related to the handling of conduct allegations and investigations, particularly those involving sexual assault.”
The handling of sexual assault cases on campus under Title IX rules was brought to light by reports of former MU swimmer Sasha Menu Courey’s alleged sexual assault and subsequent suicide. In April, University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe issued an executive order that “specifically says that every staff or faculty member who becomes aware of an act of sexual harassment, including but not limited to sexual assault, becomes a “mandated reporter” and is obligated to report the incident to… MU’s Title IX Coordinator.” There were exceptions for faculty and staff bound by legal confidentiality restraints, and in situations where a victim requests anonymity.
Days later, an independent report recommended MU strengthen its Title IX compliance in light of the Sasha Menu Courey story.
According to the press release, Bennett is currently the assistant to the provost and an associate professor of learning teaching and curriculum.