Today, we join institutions throughout the nation in marking the 50th anniversary of Title IX. The law has transformed higher education and, at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, enhanced safety and advanced equality for tens of thousands of learners, scholars and public servants over the decades since its passage. I appreciate UW System President Jay Rothman’s statement on Title IX’s 50th anniversary, which you can read here.
Title IX was renamed to the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in 2002 to honor Patsy Takemoto Mink, the law’s major author and the first woman of color to serve in Congress. Its text is brief yet landmark: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The law makes no reference to sports, yet it has unlocked countless opportunities for girls and women to engage and thrive in athletics. UWO is proud of the generations of student-athletes, coaches and athletics administrators who have etched remarkable individual achievements in its history books while also propelling teams and programs to conference and national championships. These experiences and accomplishments have shaped incredible leaders.
While Title IX has paved the way for equitable educational environments in a multitude of ways, we want to highlight our current work related to Title IX in a few more narrow categories:
- We are in the process of hiring our next Compliance and Title IX Coordinator. The person hired into the position will report directly to the Vice Chancellor of University Affairs.
- In February, we welcomed Abby Gildernick to UWO as the Assistant Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator.
- We are proud to offer programming and support services through the Division of Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence across sex/gender identities through the Women’s Center, LGBTQ+ Resource Center, and Titan Men of Diversity (part of Intercultural Engagement). These functional units work diligently to advance gender equity at UWO.
- Building off previous efforts, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Erin Grisham and Interim University Diversity Officer Alicia Johnson are co-leading efforts for us as an institution to increase support and reduce barriers for pregnant and parenting students at UWO. Learn more about existing resources here.
These are just a few examples of our commitment to compliance and consistent improvement under Title IX. We also invite you to review the information at the following links to learn more about the law and, in your journeys and roles at UWO, help you contribute to the culture of safety and equality we are dedicated to cultivating together.
Editor’s note: This post was originally shared with the UWO community as an email on June 23, 2022, signed by Chancellor Andy Leavitt and Alicia Johnson, PhD, Interim University Diversity Officer, Director of the UWO Women’s Center [Oshkosh Campus] and Lead Organizer of The Intersection [Fond du Lac and Fox Cities Campuses].