The University announced Adriana Alicea-Rodriguez as UT’s new associate vice president and Title IX coordinator in an email Friday morning.
Alicea-Rodriguez will start work as the coordinator Monday, according to an email sent by chief compliance officer Leo Barnes. She previously worked as UT’s director of Title IX trainings and investigations and at the University of Texas at San Antonio in residence life and student conduct, according to the email.
The Title IX coordinator works as the main correspondent between the office and complaintents, and meets with students when they file a sexual harassment or discrimination complaint. Alicea-Rodriguez said in the email that shaping an environment for student academic and personal development forms the core of her work.
“I am a critical thinker, with a thirst for knowledge, and a great desire to create a safe, healthy, inclusive and developmental environment for all students,” Alicea-Rodriguez said in the email.
Barnes said Alicea-Rodriguez’s career, which also includes membership in various University committees related to Title IX, has given her the experience for this position.
“Adriana has faithfully served students in higher education for over a decade,” Barnes said in the email.
The previous Title IX coordinator, Krista Anderson, left the position in May to become the UT System Title IX coordinator. Latoya Smith has been the interim coordinator while the University evaluated candidates to fill the position.
Students and faculty met the finalists for the position, Alicea-Rodriguez and Donna Reddix, at the open meetings for the Title IX finalists held Aug. 19 and 20. During the meeting, Alicea-Rodriguez said she wanted to listen to student and faculty experiences in order to improve the office.
“We need to focus on the impact, not the intent,” Alicea-Rodriguez said. “If you come and talk to me about what happened, I’m not going to try and talk you out of your experience. I’m going to listen.”
At the meetings, students highlighted a lack of trust in the Title IX office as a key issue for them. Alicea-Rodriguez said she would work to improve student trust of the office
“The program is only going to be successful if we have an accurate understanding of the experiences of the students who go through it,” Alicea-Rodriguez said. “That’s the only way that we can grow.”