As of Oct. 26, Kat McGee, the former assistant director of the Center for Student Involvement and coordinator of the Women’s Center, has taken up a new position as the director of Affirmative Action and Workplace Compliance, within the Office of the President. In her new role, McGee collaborates with many different groups on campus to promote diversity and to safeguard the rights of the Ramapo community. She is also the Title IX coordinator.
McGee commented that she has worked to promote diversity on campus in the Ramapo Women's Center for 11 years, starting when she was a student leader, then as a graduate assistant, and ultimately as the assistant director of CSI and coordinator of the Women’s Center, which was the role she last held before her change in position. McGee graduated from Ramapo in 2006, became coordinator of the Women's Center in 2008 and began teaching as an adjunct professor in 2009.
“The Women's Center is where I first came to understand feminism, social justice and the power of a community to create change. I will bring all of these lessons with me into my new role,” McGee stated.
McGee also attended Pace Law School beginning in the fall of 2006 to promote justice and to challenge structural inequality in society.
“The scope of my legal training includes civil rights, education law, contracts and employment discrimination. I ultimately recognized that my passion for the law is best utilized in an academic environment,” McGee stated in an email.
McGee believes that everyone at Ramapo has the right to a campus free from discrimination and violence. Her vision for her new role at the College is that her presence will be well-known as a trusted resource people can turn to. Affirmative action involves taking positive steps to prevent and address discrimination, as well as providing equitable access for people who have been historically marginalized and underrepresented solely because of things like their gender, race, disability and religion.
“The three main focus areas of this role are eliminating barriers to equal opportunity, promoting inclusive excellence and addressing Title IX sex and gender discrimination,” McGee said. “My goal is that Ramapo College be recognized for excellence in all of these areas.”
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.” As the Title IX coordinator, McGee deals with discrimination on campus and issues of violence and harassment such as sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence and dating violence.
The Ramapo “Advance” plan was released at the beginning of the semester, and outlined the revised safety measures and regulations regarding the prevention of sexual misconduct and alcohol abuse on campus. It includes an initiative to adopt a stand-alone policy on sexual misconduct. As part of being Title IX coordinator, McGee will oversee deputy Title IX coordinators and investigators who work to ensure allegations of sexual misconduct are responded to promptly and investigated fairly. One of McGee’s top priorities for the spring semester is to identify a pool of investigators who will “conduct prompt, equitable and impartial administrative investigations of Title IX complaints.” McGee commented that this is a significant change for the campus, and an opportunity to implement the best practices in campus safety at Ramapo.