New WSU administrator to oversee ethics, compliance

MATTHEW BRUNSTETTER | Evergreen news editor

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WSU has narrowed down its search for a new administrative position that will oversee university matters regarding ethics and legal compliance.

The chief compliance and ethics officer will be charged with coordinating how the university complies with a wide range of regulations, including Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the NCAA, and the Clery Act.

The finalists for the position are David Galloway, the executive director of the Office of Compliance and Audit at Brigham Young University; Ryan Hagemann, a former assistant attorney general for Oregon; Philip Hunt, an attorney who has worked in higher education for more than 15 years; and Benjamin E. Rawlins, a member of three state bars who specializes in higher education law.

The idea for this position came about following a controversy in 2011, when a letter issued by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights illustrated multiple examples of Title IX requirements as they relate to sexual violence.

The letter stated that, should a higher education institution under federal funding fail to fulfill its responsibilities under Title IX, the department can impose fines or deny further federal funding to the institution: “The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students’ right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime.”

Chief Human Resources Officer Theresa Elliot-Cheslek, the chair of the committee responsible for selecting the chief compliance officer. Elliot-Cheslek said WSU approved the creation of the position in the fall of 2013. She said it will serve as an umbrella position and a conduit among currently existing departments that handle matters of compliance.

The committee plans to interview the candidates during the first two weeks of June. During that time, each of the candidates is also scheduled to hold a public information forum.