Transition Plan for Title IX Coordinator and Compliance Officer

Posted on 4/28/2017 3:35:27 PM

Valerie Mercado, Title IX coordinator and compliance officer in the Office of Social Equity, has accepted an exciting new position in business and will be leaving IUP on May 4. She began work in this role at IUP in June 2014.

After Mercado’s departure, current deputy Title IX Coordinator Sondra Dennison, executive director of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining, will serve as interim Title IX coordinator, and Paula Stossel, assistant vice president for graduate enrollment management and processing, will serve as interim Title IX deputy coordinator. Stossel currently serves as a campus security authority coordinator for Title IX.

Complaints and concerns related to Title IX issues can be directed to the Office of Social Equity at 724-357-3402 and e-mailed to title-ix@iup.edu. Dennison can be reached at Sondra.Dennison@iup.edu or 724-357-2696.

Annual employee training, which is also managed by the Office of Social Equity, will continue to be offered online, and in-person requests can be made by appointment. Questions regarding training can be directed to the Office of Social Equity at 724-357-3402.

“Valerie has done a remarkable job engaging the entire university and advancing our work in this important area, especially in the midst of changing rules, requirements, and expectations,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said. “Because of her work, our students and employees are safer, and we are much better off as an institution.

“Valerie has demonstrated a unique ability to navigate the responsibility of informing individuals on what they must do while engaging them as partners to meet the requirements of Title IX and the conduct that we expect from members of our community,” he said. “We wish her well in her future endeavors.”

The Title IX coordinator/compliance officer is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the university’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy, as well as helping the university maintain compliance with the State System, the commonwealth, and federal laws and regulations addressing sexual violence—including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Information about Title IX and procedures to file a complaint are available on the IUP website, including a listing of the campus security authority coordinators who also can be contacted in the case of a concern or complaint.

IUP’s current Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy was approved in August 2014.

All IUP students, managers, administrators, faculty, staff, vendors, and designated volunteers have a responsibility to adhere to the contents of the policy, which includes the requirement of all employees to report complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence promptly and in accordance with the policy.