LSU seeks new Title IX coordinator as administrators’ roles change following Husch Blackwell report

LSU students protest in front of the Football Operations Center in -- demanding stiffer punishment for athletic executives who sat on sexual misconduct allegations. (Photo by JC Canicosa/Louisiana Illuminator)

LSU is looking to hire a new coordinator for its Title IX office which handles sexual misconduct in response to a damning report that found the school hadn’t made enough of an effort to combat sexual misconduct and violence on its flagship campus in Baton Rouge.

Jenie Stewart has been moved from her position as Title IX coordinator to the coordinator overseeing the Americans with Disabilities Act at the university. 

The university expects to announce a new Title IX coordinator by July 1, Jane Cassidy, interim vice president of Civil Rights & Title IX, told the LSU Board of Supervisors last Saturday.

The Office of Civil Rights & Title IX has been expanding its workforce, as the office looks to hire another case manager, more investigators and more administration. Last year, the university had one Title IX coordinator and one case manager for 50,000 students, Cassidy said. 

The office will be fully staffed at 14 members. As of April 11, 10 of its positions are vacant, including the role of vice president of Civil Rights & Title IX which Cassidy holds temporarily.

LSU has been under fire since last fall after a USA TODAY investigation found the university mishandled allegations of sexual assault and harassment in its athletics program. In response, the university hired the Husch Blackwell law firm to conduct an independent probe. 

While university officials have not fired any administrators as a result of the scandal, interim LSU President Tom Galligan some administrators could be shifted around.

Miriam Segar, one of two LSU athletics administrators who was suspended after not responding to several allegations of violence and misconduct against football players, has new responsibilities. Segar’s role has been realigned with less student contact, according to LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard. Segar still holds some Title IX duties, Ballard said, but those are based on gender equity in athletics.

Verge Ausberry, another athletics administrator who was also suspended, remains in his current role. Ausberry’s job “hasn’t changed radically from before suspension,” Ballard said, as “he didn’t have that much student contact before.”

Jonathan Sanders, the associate dean of students, is “on special projects in Student Affairs, while HR review continues. Following the review, his role going forward will be determined,” Ballard said. Sanders regularly doled out light punishments to students found responsible for serious infractions like stalking and rape. USA TODAY found that LSU was more lenient on its sexual offenders than other universities of a similar size.

“These are the roles that have had reassignment since the Husch Blackwell report was presented,” Ballard said to the Illuminator. “We will continue to look at things based off the Husch Blackwell report and any other information that comes forth.”