Title IX officer to leave GVSU

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
Dwight Hamilton

GVL/Kevin Sielaff Dwight Hamilton

Hannah Lentz

Originally published 1/15/2015

After being employed with Grand Valley State University for almost five years, Dwight Hamilton, associate vice president for Affirmative Action and Title IX officer, will be leaving to take a position as Chief Diversity Officer of Smith College, a private liberal arts college for women located in Massachusetts.

Hamilton will be leaving GVSU on Feb. 20. Though the replacement of his position is still being discussed, Hamilton said that Title IX responsibilities will be passed on and will be fully taken care of.

As of October, GVSU has been facing a Title IX investigation regarding sexual violence on campus. One of 85 other institutions under investigation, Title IX responsibilities fall under Hamilton’s current position.

“I will remain a resource for Grand Valley as they go through the process of a Title IX investigation,” Hamilton said. “I will be available to help with the procedure even though I have taken another position.”

The position at Smith College, initially brought up to Hamilton in June, is a cabinet level position that will involve working directly with diversity related issues across the university campus.

“The job that ended up being discussed was an attractive opportunity to work with diversity affair programming and compliance work,” Hamilton said. “I will be working to eliminate diversity barriers at the university through this position. It is truly a great opportunity.”

Smith College is one of the largest liberal art schools for women in the country. It was ranked 19th in the 2015 National Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings. Hamilton said that he looks forward to working with such a highly ranked liberal college through his new position.

During his time at GVSU, Hamilton served several different positions related to diversity affairs issues on campus. In these positions, Hamilton worked to maintain a positive work environment for employees and a safe and beneficial learning environment for students. Hamilton worked with his department to create an “equal opportunity campus for all students.” Additionally, Hamilton said he is proud of the university’s work to create a more open campus for students who identify as transgender and for students whose religious affiliations affect their academic schedule.

Though the future of Hamilton’s position is still being decided upon, GVSU is currently in the search for a Vice President of Inclusion and Equity. The position, created in January 2008, was made to show the efforts of senior leadership to make the university community more inclusive for all faculty and staff members, as well as students. Departments in the division of Inclusion and Equity include Affirmative Action; Disability Support Resources; and Inclusion Initiatives, Intercultural Training, Learning and Development.

With the search to fill this position to be finished after candidates visit the university at the end of January, Hamilton has full faith that the contender chosen will also work to maintain the same beliefs and inclusion goals he had for GVSU students, staff and faculty.

“I have no doubt that those who will be fulfilling the needed responsibilities will do what is best for the university,” Hamilton said. “Though I have not been directly involved with the hiring process, from what I have seen, all the candidates have impressive ambitions and skill sets to offer to the Grand Valley community.”

[email protected]