Western Carolina University has promoted Deidre Hopkins to serve as its Title IX Coordinator and Equity Officer.
In this new standalone position, Hopkins will work to ensure WCU complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 — a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex — and other civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination and require equitable education and work environments.
In addition to coordinating university compliance with various civil rights statutes, Hopkins will lead WCU’s efforts to prevent sexual violence and other forms of sex- and gender-based discrimination.
Hopkins has worked as WCU’s university investigator since December 2019. In that position, she was the primary investigator for allegations of sex- or gender-based discrimination, equal employment opportunity violations, and complaints of sexual misconduct, harassment, stalking or relationship violence involving faculty, staff, students and third parties.
The Title IX coordinator has previously been an administrative role held by the associate general counsel alongside other duties. This new position will play a critical role in trainings, education and resolution of Title IX matters to provide a safe campus that is free of sexual harassment and discrimination, according to Hopkins.
“I want everyone to feel safe on our campus. I want people to access and participate in programs and activities and foster healthy, intentional relationships,” Hopkins said. “It will be these very programs and activities that allow WCU to grow, learn and deliver amazing students back into our society and region.”
Hopkins grew up in Franklin and now lives in Cullowhee with her husband. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from WCU in 2012 and a master’s degree in human resources from WCU in 2017.
Hopkins has worked for WCU since 2013. Previous roles include administrative support associate for the Communications Department in the College of Arts and Sciences; administrative support for the associate provost for Undergraduate Studies; and executive assistant in the Office of University Counsel. Hopkins has also served in the Staff Senate at WCU since 2017.
As a reminder to the campus community, the Safe at WCU website is a portal for resources and information related to sexual harassment, sexual violence, interpersonal violence and stalking. People can report an incident using the link on the website or by contacting Hopkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.