Univ. of Tennessee Adds 7 Positions after Sexual Assaults

The additions come as the Office for Civil Rights investigates the university for possible Title IX violations.

The University of Tennessee will add five employees to the departments at the school that handle sexual assault awareness, prevention, investigation and response.

The additions were announced as the university worked toward a large lawsuit settlement and as criminal trials for two former football players at the school are pending.

The lawsuit, which alleged that student athletes were given unfair advantages during the university’s sexual assault investigations, was settled with eight students for $2.48 million on July 5. The students’ complaints also sparked an ongoing Title IX investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

RELATED: Federal Government Backs Students’ Lawsuit Claim Against KSU

Two of the new employees will be tasked with organizing programming about sexual assault, drug and alcohol awareness topics in the athletics department. The university’s Office of Equity and Diversity will add a Title IX senior deputy coordinator and two Title IX investigators. The Center for Health Education and Wellness will add a position focusing on the prevention and education of sexual assault. The school is dedicating $700,000 to five of the new positions plus operational costs, reports wkrn.com.

“We’ve long recognized that we needed somebody dedicated to this sexual assault, sexual misconduct, relationship violence and stalking area in terms of procedures and process,” says UT Title IX Coordinator Jennifer Richter.

The university is also adjusting a procedure so that the Office of Equity and Diversity handles sexual assault allegations. Previously, the Office of Student Conduct fielded sexual assault allegations.

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