XU announces new Equity Investigator position

By Emily Croft and Maggie Schroeder, Staff Writers

Xavier created the Equity Investigator position, which aims to address identity-based discrimination that does not fall under the category of Title IX.

The Equity Investigator position focuses on identity-based discrimination, harassment and bias. The identity base includes race, ethnicity, age, religion, socio-economic status and veteran status. Because the Title IX office focuses on sex-based discrimination, the Equity Investigator will not be responsible for sex-based discrimination, bias or harassment.

Xavier aims to embody the Jesuit mission of cura personalis through this position. The University wants to provide safety and security to all students and staff by creating more accessibility to resources regarding discrimination or bias.

Kate Lawson, Title IX and interpersonal violence response coordinator, emphasized the necessity for the new position. 

“It has become clear that Xavier has significant opportunity to strengthen its response to non-sex discrimination forms of identity-based discrimination,” she explained.

The Equity Investigator will be responsible for three major goals. The first is assessing and strengthening the University’s identity-based discrimination, including policies, prevention and response systems.

The second goal of the position is to work effectively and deeply with filed issues, working on responses to complaints, patterns and university trends. 

The position’s final goal is to incorporate local, state and federal laws when addressing complaints issued to the Equity Investigator.

“The goal is to have a visible, accessible leader and centralized resource for students and employees experiencing these complex and consequential issues,” Lawson added.

The position will fall under the offices of Title IX and Interpersonal Violence, ultimately reporting to the office of the provost and chief academic officer.

Photo courtesy of xavier.edu
XU began a search for a new position called the Equity Investigator. The position will serve as a response to non-sex discrimination.

The application and qualification requirements include a master’s degree in a relevant field and investigation expertise so that the investigator may effectively gather and analyze evidence for filings. 

These requirements, among others, look to prepare the person for the position and its expectations. The position is currently set for one year, as administrators study its efficacy. 

“To implement the best long-term model, the position would be assessed after one year to inform decisions regarding the structure of the function going forward,” Lawson said.

The position was announced on Sept. 24. and applications were due Oct. 17. 

However, a low number of candidates applied, which Lawson understands may affect the future. 

“I do have significant concerns that this initial search may not result in a candidate with the content expertise and experience necessary and required to lead this critical work at Xavier,” Lawson stated. 

Xavier is hoping to find a qualified individual for the position. Once selected, the Equity Investigator is scheduled to begin work in Jan. 2022.