For almost a decade, when a Title IX issue arose on campus -- whether regarding gender equity among sports teams, a challenging sexual misconduct case, or campus leaders, department heads, managers and student groups seeking guidance -- Denise Oldham has been the campus’s go-to and trusted authority on this highly complex topic.
And so it is with mixed emotions today that we announce that Denise has decided to retire from her position as the campus’s Title IX Officer and Director of the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). She plans to retire this spring and, in the interim, will transition to working part-time, focusing on high priority campus matters only, which will allow her to spend more time attending to the needs of a critically ill family member.
Our thoughts are with Denise and her family during this difficult time, and we also want to acknowledge what Denise's knowledge, experience, and professionalism have meant to those of us who have worked with her for so many years.
Denise has been a key leader in steering the campus through numerous, years-long audits and reviews by federal and state agencies, as well as the continuing shifts in regulation, law and UC policy regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment matters. She has overseen the operational and structural changes needed for the campus to ensure continued compliance.
A resilient and deeply knowledgeable colleague, Denise has also helped to guide the campus in its quest to create anti-harassment and discrimination policies that are more transparent, fair and accessible.
The importance of her counsel -- including her dedication to getting things absolutely right from a policy perspective and recognizing nuances that should not be overlooked when changing policy or making decisions -- has been immeasurable for us as a campus and for external colleagues who have sought, and benefitted from, her advice and mentorship.
Denise has dedicated most of her 25-year career at UC Berkeley to civil rights compliance work. She took on the role of Title IX Officer in 2010, an office of one director and one part-time staffer at that time. Since then she has overseen its growth into a cohesive, 10-person team of civil rights compliance experts. Denise's development of this diverse, highly trained team has strengthened Berkeley's organizational foundation for civil rights compliance, which supports a key tenet of our mission.
We are developing a strategy to ensure the long-term continuity of this very important campus function. In the interim, Deputy Title IX Officer, Paula Raffaelli has agreed to serve as the campus Acting Title IX Officer, effective November 1st. We appreciate Paula's willingness to serve in this critical role.
Please join us in wishing Denise well. We will miss her steady guidance and expertise -- but, thankfully, will not have to say an actual farewell until her retirement next spring.
Khira Griscavage, Associate Chancellor and Chief Ethics, Risk and Compliance Officer
Suzanne Taylor, Systemwide Title IX Director, UCOP
Carol Christ, Chancellor
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