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OU Title IX coordinator resigns, finalist of previous hiring search to fill position pending OU Regents approval

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Shaniqua Crawford has resigned as OU Title IX coordinator. Crawford became OU's new Title IX coordinator on Dec. 1, 2020.

OU President Joseph Harroz announced Wednesday afternoon the university’s Title IX coordinator has resigned.

Shaniqua Crawford, whose hiring was announced in November 2020, served as Title IX coordinator, institutional equity officer and equal opportunity officer, according to an email from Harroz. 

Crawford’s hiring came in the wake of former OU Title IX Coordinator Bobby Mason’s resignation in April 2020. During Mason’s tenure, the Title IX office was criticized by several students for its handling of their reports and a lack of transparency during investigations. Mason resigned to accept a position as Texas State University’s first chief compliance officer.

Crawford’s hire also coincided with changes to OU Title IX regulations in response to adjustments by the U.S. Department of Education to the definition of sexual harassment and the steps universities must take when handling Title IX cases.

“To assist with this transition, Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Belinda Higgs Hyppolite will serve as Acting Institutional Equity Officer, Equal Opportunity Officer, and Title IX Coordinator,” Harroz wrote. “Given the critical nature of this position in supporting our entire university community, under the guidance of Human Resources, the university has made an exception to the search process for a replacement as allowed by the university’s National Recruitment Procedures.”

Christine Taylor, a finalist in the hiring process that resulted in Crawford earning the position, will be appointed as Title IX coordinator, institutional equity officer and equal opportunity officer on Dec. 6 pending OU Board of Regents Approval, Harroz wrote. The next Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for Dec. 3.

“With nearly 20 years of higher education experience, (Taylor) currently serves as Institutional Equity and Compliance Director at Wichita State University. In this role, she ensures WSU’s compliance with laws and regulations regarding equal opportunity, civil rights, affirmative action, sexual harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct,” Harroz wrote. “At OU, Christine will lead the Institutional Equity Office, overseeing the university’s affirmative action and equal opportunity compliance efforts, as well as investigating complaints of sexual misconduct, discrimination, and harassment.”

Taylor has been “instrumental” in creating protocols to centralize Title IX reporting and implemented a “comprehensive” investigation process at Wichita State University, Harroz wrote. Taylor served as Marquette University’s Title IX coordinator for three years, where she authored the university’s Title IX policies. 

Wichita State University had 12,406 undergraduate students enrolled for the fall 2020 semester, and Marquette reported 8,024 undergraduates. For the same semester, OU-Norman reported 21,393 enrolled undergraduates.

Taylor earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Iowa State University and a juris doctorate from Valparaiso University School of Law, according to the email. She also holds a Master of Laws in dispute resolution from The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. 

Blake Douglas joined the OU Daily news desk in October 2018, and is currently the editor-in-chief. Previously, Blake has served as an intern reporter, senior news reporter, summer news editor and news managing editor.

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