Utah State Demotes Title IX Chief

April 20, 2018

Utah State University has demoted its Title IX coordinator after an investigation found that administrators failed to address assault allegations against faculty in the piano department, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Stacy Sturgeon, who has directed the Title IX office since 2014, is now an affirmative action and equal opportunity specialist, according to the university's website. Tim Vitale, a spokesperson for Utah State, told the Tribune that the details of Sturgeon’s new position are being finalized.

In addition to hiring a new permanent Title IX coordinator, the university will create a new position, a prevention specialist, in its affirmative action and equal opportunity office, Noelle Cockett, university president, said in an email to students and faculty, the Tribune reported.

An external investigation found that music students had reported at least seven cases of harassment to Utah State's sexual misconduct and discrimination investigators, with little action, including three while Sturgeon was coordinator.

Utah State vowed to reform its Title IX office once before, in 2016, after being accused of mishandling a series of assault allegations. The U.S. Department of Justice announced last year it was conducting an investigation into the university's response to reports of assault.

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