The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a comprehensive urban university with a nationally recognized academic health center. UAB is the only public, four-year degree-granting university in the state’s largest metropolitan area. UAB is the largest research institution in the state of Alabama and the University is the largest employer in Birmingham. UAB attracts the best and brightest students from Alabama, the nation, and more than 100 countries around the world. In 2018, the University had its ninth year of overall record enrollment, with over 22,000 undergraduate, graduate, pre-professional, and post-doctoral students. Nearly 70 percent of the student body attends the University full-time, and more than 73 percent of the freshmen live on campus. UAB is among 51 public and private universities classified by the Carnegie Foundation for both “very high research activity” and “community engagement.” UAB receives more than $400 million annually in research grants and contracts and ranks 10th among all public universities in funding from the National Institutes of Health. UAB ranked as the top young university in the United States and 10th worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2018 Young University Rankings.
Reporting to the Title IX coordinator, the deputy Title IX coordinator assists with the day-to-day operations of the Title IX Office to ensure University compliance with relevant sexual misconduct and equal opportunity laws, and foster a welcoming, safe, non-discriminatory, and harassment-free educational, living, and working environment for all members of the UAB community. The deputy Title IX coordinator assists with the coordination, response, investigation, and resolution of reports/complaints asserting violations of the University’s nondiscrimination policies as well as corresponding laws, including Title IX, relevant provisions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), Title VII, the Clery Act, and all other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, and sexual misconduct.
The deputy Title IX coordinator manages and oversees the initial intake of reports to ensure a well-documented, prompt, and fair response; investigates allegations related to sex-based discrimination, discriminatory harassment and misconduct; communicates with parties while protecting the independence, neutrality, integrity and privacy of the investigation; composes comprehensive written investigative reports; and advises leadership on potential risk exposure associated with reports investigated. Additionally, the deputy Title IX coordinator assists with developing and presenting the university’s comprehensive education and training efforts related to sexual misconduct; engages in outreach efforts; and identifies and integrates best practices in investigations by staying current with recent changes on relevant laws, policies, procedures, investigative techniques, trauma-informed investigative practices, and cultural sensitivity. The deputy Title IX coordinator also assists in creating and implementing internal processes and protocols, continuously measuring effectiveness and efficiency while recommending process improvements; assists with the preparation and maintenance of statistical, demographic, and subject matter data related to reports and trends; generates appropriate analytics of intake activity for reporting to diverse audiences; and engages in informal resolution or referrals in coordination with appropriate departments and other applicable offices in instances where allegations do not rise to the level of discrimination, sexual harassment, or other forms of policy violation. The deputy Title IX coordinator supervises two professional staff, leads a team of investigators, and provides guidance, mentoring, and training for all.
The successful candidate will possess a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, Counseling Education, Student Affairs, or a related field, with several years of progressively responsible experience working directly with Title IX in a higher education or related setting. Strong interpersonal and communication skills; dynamic presentation, facilitation, education and training abilities; expertise in problem-solving and conflict-resolution; and sophisticated project management, organizational, and analytical skills will also be important considerations in the selection of the new deputy Title IX coordinator. Demonstrated success in and a commitment to diversity and inclusion, providing equitable and respectful treatment to all individuals, and fostering positive relationships with diverse constituencies are essential for success.
In addition to the minimum academic and experiential requirements indicated in this document, other desired characteristics, skills, actions, and/or abilities noted from discussions with institutional stakeholders include the following:
- a progressive background in Title IX or other non-discriminatory work environments, higher education, student affairs, social work, or psychology;
- familiarity with the legal aspects of Title IX, as well as compliance, will be helpful;
- strong managerial, organizational, and administrative skills, with the ability to represent the coordinator and the department when necessary;
- excellent and demonstrated investigative skills;
- demonstrated collaboration skills with internal departments and external colleagues, with the ability to understand the importance of interconnectedness and partnerships;
- an excellent and transparent communicator with robust public relations skills and the ability to reach all levels of the University, including students, faculty, alumni, and upper level administration;
- demonstrated strong writing skills;
- demonstrated skills as an advocate and champion for diversity, equity, inclusivity, accessibility, and social justice, along with a willingness to stand up for these values, and an understanding of the intersectionality of a diverse student population;
- strong leadership and organizational development abilities that inspire and develop staff, providing professional and personal development opportunities and promoting unity and teamwork throughout the Title IX Office;
- demonstrated ability to empower staff to conduct their daily responsibilities;
- strong presentation and training skills;
- flexibility and adaptability, with the ability to change “lanes” at a moment’s notice;
- compassion and empathy, while at the same time understanding process;
- ability to remain fair and unbiased at all times;
- energy and enthusiasm for the role, passion for the work, a positive attitude even in the face of adversity, a personable and approachable demeanor, charisma, and the ability to have fun on the job, even though the subject matter can be heavy;
- an innovator with a futuristic orientation and a willingness to try new opportunities, remain informed on new trends and best practices, and lead significant change processes;
- strong interview skills in relation to investigations;
- experience in diplomacy, political savviness, and mediation, as well as the ability to develop consensus around difficult issues;
- an understanding of the student conduct process;
- assessment skills and the ability to bring metrics and statistical analysis to bear on the Title IX Office;
- possess problem solving skills, with the ability to determine needs, address issues, and manage change effectively;
- experience with Maxient or other case management technology;
- previous experience in an academic medical center or non-profit advocacy is desirable; and
- the ability to make difficult decisions when necessary, to conduct difficult conversations when pertinent, to listen to all sides of an issue, and to remain “cool under pressure” no matter the situation.
Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position
The deputy Title IX coordinator must possess a broad and deep understanding of national best practices with regard to Title IX policy, practice, implementation, advocacy, and reporting requirements. The deputy Title IX coordinator should be a leader capable of managing crises and complex situations, unwaveringly committed to the well-being and support of students and staff, and equipped to contribute at both a strategic and operational level at a large and growing institution.
In discussion with UAB stakeholders, there was a sense of unity in support of identifying a competent and visionary individual who can promote and develop the staff/team, assist in setting departmental priorities, and work in tandem with the coordinator to progressively, innovatively, and comprehensively move the program forward. In addition to the minimum academic and experiential requirements indicated in the position announcement, the following themes emerged:
- It will be essential that the new deputy Title IX coordinator commit to a comprehensive culture of collaboration and partnering across campus for maximum effectiveness. UAB is committed to building relationships as a foundation of the campus culture, and strong collaboration is an absolute necessity in all endeavors to ensure success. The Title IX Office touches a vast number of entities, including students, faculty, administration, and departments, so it will be crucial that the new deputy Title IX coordinator quickly reach out across each of these areas to build strong relationships that foster ongoing positive interactions and act as a “connector” in all instances. These connections are absolutely essential in order to assess the real needs of constituents, provide exceptional programs and training opportunities for the campus community, and ensure that all parties receive fair and unbiased attention at all times. Relationships with the Title IX staff, the Student Affairs colleagues, and the Faculty Senate are just three examples of critical connections that must be made in order to promote a collaborative culture.
- The scope of responsibilities of the Title IX Office is both deep and wide, and the new deputy Title IX coordinator will need to quickly become familiar with all responsibilities within their purview in order to develop a comprehensive list of priorities. Included in those responsibilities are assisting with prevention, advocacy, and compliance, as well as carrying a case load, so the deputy coordinator will need to work closely with the Title IX coordinator to assess and prioritize their work structure. Upon arrival, the deputy Title IX coordinator should expect a fast pace and a fresh and vibrant environment in which to work; subsequently, the Division of Student Affairs is also operating at an extremely fast pace, with change and growth occurring rather quickly, so the new deputy Title IX coordinator should expect to learn the position, develop a plan, and begin implementation just as quickly. In this, there will be a great opportunity to put their own professional mark on the program.
- The current staff reporting to the deputy Title IX coordinator are extremely committed to the vision of a strong and supportive team, and they are dedicated to providing the best possible experience to the UAB community. The staff works hard and the new deputy Title IX coordinator should make it a priority to quickly get to know the staff as individuals, learn their particular needs, develop trust and confidence across the board, ascertain and understand the various responsibilities they perform and roles they play, and be prepared to provide comprehensive professional support for all staff and oversee the ongoing development of a strong team.
- Educational programs and sexual assault prevention training opportunities are an integral responsibility of the Title IX Office, and currently, the Title IX coordinator conducts a great number of these programs. The new deputy Title IX coordinator will need to quickly assume a portion of the load of educational and training presentations in an effort to free the coordinator’s schedule for other strategic priorities. The deputy Title IX coordinator will also be expected to work in tandem with the coordinator to develop new, innovative, and dynamic training and educational programs for the campus community. These programs provide an excellent opportunity for the deputy Title IX coordinator to become known on campus and to further develop collaborative relationships with those departments and individuals whom the Title IX coordinator has already connected (as well as new partnerships that present themselves).
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important parts of the UAB community, and the deputy Title IX coordinator should be a leader in supporting, understanding, embracing, and nurturing these concepts. There are a large number of underrepresented populations within the institution, and the Title IX Office should be a model for maintaining a strong sense of equity and an unbiased, supportive environment at all times.
- There is a decentralized campus structure around Title IX, with the core function resting within Student Affairs, but there are also other “deputy” Title IX coordinators in other departments across campus who serve as hearing panel members, sometimes take conflict cases, and generally support the mission of Title IX overall. These deputies have other full-time responsibilities, but give of their time to assist in the important work that comes through the Title IX Office. It will be important for the new deputy Title IX coordinator to reach out to these individuals and create collaborative relationships in an effort to continue the current strong program while exploring new opportunities to grow and develop over time.
- The current Title IX coordinator has an extensive legal background, so there is ample opportunity for the new deputy Title IX coordinator to become familiar with the legal aspects of the Title IX industry should that not be a part of their background. With the new Department of Education and Civil Rights mandates being released soon, the legal implications for the Title IX Office and the staff are far-reaching and must be integrated in order to best serve the UAB community.
- Across the board, stakeholders reiterated that they enjoyed working at UAB, are very supportive of each other, like the vibrancy of the university, feel much camaraderie, and believe that there are many opportunities to make a big difference in the deputy Title IX coordinator role. Like the campus community, the Birmingham community is growing quickly and becoming a thriving metropolitan environment. Within that community, there is a robust assortment of restaurants and food options, a number of cultural and arts-related opportunities, and recreation, professional and college sports, and other outdoor activities that appeal to both the individual and to families.
History of the Position
The Deputy Title IX Coordinator is a newly created position in an effort to support the increasing workload of the Title IX Coordinator and the Title IX Department at UAB.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) traces its roots to the 1859 founding of the Medical College of Alabama and the 1936 opening of the Birmingham Extension Center of the University of Alabama. In 1945 the Medical College of Alabama was moved from Tuscaloosa and the University’s Medical Center was founded in Birmingham. In 1954 the Extension Center was moved to a newly constructed facility adjacent to the Medical Center, bringing together for the first time the University’s two academic components in Birmingham. Later, in November of 1966, the Extension Center and the Medical Center were administratively merged to form the “University of Alabama in Birmingham,” an organizational component of the University of Alabama (in Tuscaloosa). In 1969 UAB became an independent institution, one of the autonomous universities within the newly created three-campus University of Alabama System.
Today, UAB is a comprehensive urban university with a nationally recognized academic health center. UAB is the only public, four-year degree-granting university in the state’s largest metropolitan area. UAB is the largest research institution in the state of Alabama and is the largest single employer in the state.
UAB is located in the Southside neighborhood of downtown Birmingham. Spanning around 83 blocks, the UAB campus blends with the urban character of the Southside. The campus is rectangular in shape with University Boulevard serving as the main axis of the rectangle and Campus Green serving as the center of the campus.
The campus can be divided into three sections. The medical center occupies most of the campus east of Campus Green. The medical center is home to health science schools and their teaching facilities, including the UAB Health System (UABHS). The medical center overlaps with the larger Birmingham Medical District where, in addition to UABHS, non-UAB affiliated hospitals such as the VA Medical Center Birmingham, Children’s Hospital of Alabama, and Cooper Green Mercy Hospital are located.
The part of campus from Campus Green west and University Boulevard south is the academic center of the campus, as well as the center of student life on campus. It is anchored by Campus Green, which was developed between 2000 and 2007 as the centerpiece of the move to convert the school from its previously commuter school feel into a more traditional residential campus.
Athletics facilities, including Bartow Arena, are located on the far western side of campus.
Since 1969, UAB has undergone extensive growth and construction projects are common across campus. Projects that are in planning, recently completed, or under construction include:
- Shelby Biomedical Research Building
- Southern Bio-Safety Lab Alabama Birmingham
- Alumni Affairs House
- UAB Softball Complex
- Campus Green Project
- Women’s and Infants Center
- Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Facility
- The Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts
Ray L. Watts, MD, President
Ray L. Watts, MD, UAB’s seventh president, has demonstrated visionary leadership in education, research, and patient care throughout his career.
A Birmingham native and graduate of West End High School, Dr. Watts earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering at UAB in 1976. The collaborations he had with biomedical engineering students as an undergraduate sparked an interest in medicine and, four years later, he graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as valedictorian of his class.
Dr. Watts completed a neurology residency, medical internship, and clinical fellowships at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a two-year medical staff fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Thereafter he joined the faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, where he was part of a team that created an internationally renowned research and clinical center for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.
Dr. Watts returned to UAB in 2003 as the John N. Whitaker Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology. There he led the development of an interdisciplinary research program aimed at translating scientific breakthroughs into promising new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases and played a key role in the establishment of the UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center. He also was named president of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation.
In 2010, Dr. Watts accepted the position of Senior Vice President and Dean of the School of Medicine at UAB, and later was named to the James C. Lee Jr. Endowed Chair. As dean, Dr. Watts – in partnership with UAB Health System and Health Services Foundation leaders – initiated the AMC21 strategic plan to make UAB “the preferred academic medical center of the 21st century,” which has led to the recruitment of outstanding faculty, the launch of programs to accelerate research and drug discovery, and establishment of a third regional medical campus in Montgomery, among other successes.
Dr. Watts was named president of UAB in February 2013 by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System. He initiated and is leading UAB’s most comprehensive-ever strategic planning process with campus- and community-wide partnership. During his tenure, UAB has made tremendous strides in all areas of its mission, including record enrollment and development of novel academic programs, record research funding and the university’s international competitiveness, impactful service to the local and global community, and construction of new state-of-the-art facilities and campus beautification as part of the UAB Campus Master Plan.
Dr. Watts and his wife Nancy, who worked at UAB as a nurse before retiring, have five grown children.
- Traditional medical plans
- Consumer driven health plans
- Dental plans
- Vision plans
- Retirement programs
- Educational assistance for employees and families
- Life, accidental death & dismemberment and disability insurance
- Vacation and sick leave
Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled; position review date is Tuesday, April 9, 2019. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to J. Scott Derrick at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.
Visit the UAB website at http://www.uab.edu
UAB is committed to equal opportunity in education, and employment, and the maintenance and promotion of nondiscrimination and prevention of discriminatory harassment in all aspects of education, recruitment, and employment of individuals throughout the university.