New Title IX Officer and Senior Director of the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination

Monday, February 7, 2022, 2:00pm

TO: Campus community
FR: Jerlena Griffin-Desta, Chief of Staff and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Diversity

Please join me in welcoming to the Seawolves community our new Title IX Officer and Senior Director of the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD), Julie Vivas. Ms. Vivas is returning to California from Johnson County Community College and the University of Kansas, where she worked in Title IX, employee relations, and training. Prior to that, Ms. Vivas practiced law in Sacramento as Principal Attorney specializing in education law, employment law, workplace violence, discrimination, and constitutional law.

Ms. Vivas holds a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in government and public policy from University of the Pacific (UOP), McGeorge School of Law, in addition to a M.S. in student affairs in higher education from Colorado State University and a B.A. in ethnic studies and history from U.C. San Diego. She holds multiple certifications and has been trained in areas including sexual assault, civil rights investigation, victim’s assistance, student judicial conduct, and restorative justice, and received UOP’s first Education Law Fellowship.

We are fortunate to have someone as distinguished as Ms. Vivas, in both law and higher education, and in employee relations, academic, and student affairs. The hybrid nature of Title IX and OPHD work at a university like Sonoma State requires a nuanced understanding of the complex intersections of human resources, academic and student affairs, and federal civil rights laws, among other educational and legal priorities.

I am confident that Ms. Vivas will be an asset to our entire campus community. Ms. Vivas will begin her tenure at SSU on February 22, 2022.

In addition to welcoming Julie Vivas to Sonoma State, I also want to thank the hiring committee, chaired by Dean Schneider, for their time and enthusiastic engagement with the process. They did an outstanding job recommending several strong candidates from a robust applicant pool, resulting in a successful search.