Title IX Chief Leaves UNC After Less Than a Year, Joins Duke

Howard Kallem, a recognized expert in Title IX compliance who came to UNC as Title IX compliance coordinator in January, has left the position to take a similar job at Duke University.

Howard Kallem.

Howard Kallem

Kallem was the first person at the University whose sole responsibility was Title IX compliance. Before coming to Chapel Hill, he was chief regional attorney of the District of Columbia Enforcement Office for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, and he came to UNC several months after the University became the subject of three investigations by the Office for Civil Rights into the University’s handling of sexual violence incidents. The Office for Civil Rights opened its investigations as a result of complaints filed by five women, including two alumni, two current students and another who has remained anonymous.

Nationally, some 85 colleges and universities are being investigated by the OCR; most of those probes started, as UNC’s did, in response to specific complaints. The University has acknowledged that it did not have the experts nor the processes in place to adequately deal with assault cases.

Katie Nolan ’00 (’08 JD) has been named the interim replacement for Kallem. Nolan was Title IX coordinator at the University of Alabama, where she designed and created the Title IX office, drafted a comprehensive new policy and managed reports of policy violations.

Title IX is the federal act that prohibits gender discrimination in education programs; it encompasses sexual assault, according to the federal interpretation of the law, on the ground that sexual assault can interrupt a student’s ability to fully participate in her or his education.

The Office for Civil Rights is responsible for ensuring civil rights enforcement and compliance with Title IX as well as other federal nondiscrimination legislation. Universities are required to investigate sexual assault incidents as part of compliance with Title IX.

In the past year, the University has added and filled new positions for a deputy Title IX coordinator and an investigator, designed to strengthen its handling of sexual assault reports. More recently, Chancellor Carol L. Folt authorized further expansion in this area, including a position for a second investigator and one to coordinate student engagement and programming.

Kallem came to UNC as a 22-member sexual assault task force was in the midst of 16 months of work revising policies that also cover discrimination, harassment and related misconduct, interpersonal violence and stalking. The group also created a more easily navigable adjudication process for cases that go to hearings.

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