After Initial Search Fails, College Appoints Interim Title IX Coordinator as McCary Departs
By Benjamin Pontz, Managing News Editor
Jennifer McCary’s tenure as Associate Dean for Violence Prevention and Title IX Coordinator in the College Life Office at Gettysburg College ended last week after she moved on to a position back at her alma mater, Bowling Green State University, as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Title IX Officer. As the college continues to seek a replacement, Director of Student Rights & Responsibilities Ron Wiafe will serve as the interim Title IX Coordinator of record and be the primary intake and investigative officer for cases involving students while Co-Director of Human Resources Jennifer Lucas will serve as the primary intake and investigative officer for cases involving employees, working with Vice Provost Jack Ryan for cases involving faculty, an email from Julie Ramsey, Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students, announced.
While the college launched a search this fall in hopes that they would find someone to take over McCary’s responsibilities immediately upon her departure, that initial search did not lead to the hiring of any applicants.
Ramsey is not concerned that the search was unsuccessful in its initial phase and cited a number of factors including that the search occurred in the fall (it is most common for higher education administrators to begin new jobs in the summer after searches in the spring), that several other institutions in Gettysburg’s geographic area are also looking for Title IX coordinators, and that Gettysburg is seeking someone to fill both the Title IX responsibilities as well as handle violence prevention, as McCary did. Ramsey acknowledged that the Title IX and violence prevention responsibilities could be separated if the college does not find a candidate who can fill both roles. (McCary also served as Director of the Women’s Center, a role that will be filled by Valentina Cucuzza.)
Wiafe and Lucas previously collaborated to spearhead Title IX responsibilities when McCary was on maternity leave last fall. In that instance, Lucas held the designation as the Title IX coordinator of record, but Ramsey said that the workings of the process will be similar to that circumstance and that she does not anticipate any problems in handling Title IX investigation, case management, or adjudication during the interim period.
“There’s a strong team in place. Jennifer [McCary] was the point person, but even with her leaving, they’re still a strong team,” Ramsey said, adding, “While I will miss Jennifer terribly, I don’t think our ability to manage cases effectively is at all compromised because we have such a strong team and a well-trained team. The system works.”
With that team now in place to handle cases in the interim, Ramsey said the college is in “no rush whatsoever” to make a hiring decision and will reboot the search in the spring semester with the intent to have a new coordinator in place by the summer and certainly when classes resume next fall.