Director of the Office of Community Standards steps down

Jan. 1, 2014, 6:10 p.m.

The current director of the Office of Community Standards (OCS), Koren Bakkegard, will step down to serve as associate dean of Residential Education (ResEd) beginning today.

Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Student Life, Chris Griffith, said in an email statement that a national search for a new director will begin in early January with a search committee comprised of faculty, students and staff.

Bakkegard—who became the first OCS director in October 2012— said she will continue to oversee cases she is handling as a judicial advisor while she takes up her new role in ResEd where she will mainly work in the freshmen program.

Prior to leading the OCS, Bakkegard served as director of new student programs with then Dean of Freshmen Julie Lythcott-Haims ‘89; advised frosh council; served as assistant dean of freshmen and later associate dean of Undergraduate Advising and Research.

She said she applied for the ResEd position seeing it as an opportunity to return to her professional love.

“This is going back to the work that I really love to do which is working with our first year students at Stanford,” Bakkegard said

News of Bakkegard’s transition comes three months after the Student Justice Project—a group alleging a biased judicial affairs process—released testimonials that raised issues against the OCS for issues of misconduct in the judicial process including intimidation of witnesses and violation of student privacy.

Bakkegard, however, said the efforts of the Student Justice Project did not play a role in her decision to leave the OCS.

In terms of her work at the OCS, Bakkegard spoke of the office’s progress in implementing recommendations that came out of the Internal Review Panel commissioned by President John Hennessy and Vice Provost for Student Affairs Greg Boardman in 2010 to review Judicial Affairs at Stanford. One example of steps taken includes her appointment as the first director of the OCS, which was renamed from the Office of Judicial Affairs where she held her first position at Stanford as a judicial advisor and officer.

Bakkegard also highlighted the efforts to improve communications between the ASSU and the OCS as well as changes to the OCS website to make it easier for students to be informed of the judicial process.

She added that many recommendations of the Internal Review Panel remain to be addressed—most dealing with education and outreach to ensure faculty and students fully understand the Honor Code including creating educational modules.

“We really need to ensure that all of our constituents are aware of, understand, and are committed to the Honor Code,” Bakkegard said. “That’s not something you can count on, people reading the Honor Code once and really being able to uphold its tenants.”

“It’s on-going work that we need to participate in,” she added.

Griffith said that she does not anticipate a need for an interim director for the OCS as Bakkegard positioned the office to continue meeting its duties while the search for a new director goes underway.

Ileana Najarro is the Managing Editor of News at The Stanford Daily. She previously worked as a News Desk Editor and Staff Writer.

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