Former Title IX Coordinator and Director of Equity Investigations Jill Thomas resigned from her position Friday, according to Lauren Schoenthaler, Senior Associate Vice Provost of Institutional Equity and Access.
Cathy Glaze, who held the position before Thomas was selected in September 2018, will serve as interim coordinator for six months, Schoenthaler said. The Title IX Coordinator meets with students regarding complaints related to gender-based discrimination, including sexual misconduct.
University spokesperson E.J. Miranda wrote that Thomas, who previously served as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Air Force, left the University “to return to practicing law or to pursue other opportunities.” Thomas could not be immediately reached for comment.
Before hiring a permanent replacement, the Title IX Office will “relook at how [it] want[s] to post the role,” Schoenthaler said. Thomas was selected as Title IX Coordinator following an extensive selection process that prioritized student input, an unprecedented move by the University in the hiring process for the position. Students will be incorporated in the process of hiring Thomas’s replacement, according to Miranda.
Thomas’s mid-quarter departure comes amid heightened scrutiny of Stanford’s Title IX Office, with the results of a recent campus climate survey revealing a lack of confidence in University resources to address issues of sexual violence. Meanwhile, students and faculty are placing increased pressure on administrators to place a quote chosen by Chanel Miller — rape victim of former Stanford swimmer and convicted felon Brock Turner — on a plaque in a contemplative garden at the site of her assault.
Thomas was working in consultation with Emma Tsurkov, a fourth-year sociology graduate student and Associated Students of Stanford University co-director of sexual violence prevention, to provide more consistent messaging to students from the Title IX Office, the Sexual Harassment Policy Office and the Confidential Support Team regarding the process of reporting faculty harassment.
“It sounds weird that she would leave so suddenly,” Tsurkov said. “She was in the middle of doing things — I had a project with her … and then she just fell off the face of the Earth.”
Miranda praised Thomas’ work.
“Stanford supports Jill’s decision,” Miranda wrote in an email to The Daily. “We thank Jill for her work overseeing our Title IX process during the past year, and we wish her all the best in her next endeavor.”