By Jakob Katchem
As CI continuously strives to put students’ needs, safety and overall success at the forefront of its concerns throughout this pandemic, The CI View would like to introduce students to the new Manager for Institutional Equity and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, William D. Nutt.
The focus of these various positions is to ensure a campus environment where students feel safe from any form of discrimination and to provide a protected system for students to bring attention to personal or witnessed discriminatory actions, regardless of who was involved. Upon speaking with Nutt, he provided our team with his four primary goals: building trust, identifying and addressing systemic issues, raising awareness and improving and creating alternative resolution processes.
Before addressing the details of the goals that Nutt holds, we would like to share two of the positions that he has held before joining CI. These positions have also pertained to discrimination, and demonstrate the dedication that he has in ensuring equality amongst not just students and staff, but in our community as a whole.
Upon completion of his MBA and M.A. in Anthropology in 2013 and 2014, respectively, Nutt went on to work as an investigator for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from June 2014 through October 2017. The EEOC is a federal agency whose primary function is to administer and enforce civil rights laws against workplace discrimination of all kinds. He later transitioned into higher education and began serving as a discrimination investigator at the University of Texas at Austin from February 2019 through July 2020, where he helped shape office practices and mentored several junior investigators. Nutt began serving as CI’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator in late August 2020.
With years of experience and dedication, Nutt is now striving to enrich the CI community and ensure all students not only have a voice, but that students can actively participate in the processes that identify and address personal and systematic discriminatory issues.
When addressing his goal of building trust and identifying and addressing systematic issues, Nutt stated, “If we are to move forward as a campus, I want to help rebuild trust in Title IX and Inclusion. This means listening to concerns, acknowledging what we have done poorly in the past and recognizing what we have done well. I anticipate this process will be a continuous cycle of conversations and improvement.”
This is something students can find comfort with: knowing that there are individuals like Nutt who not only recognize the need to address past and current issues, but who also acknowledge that these processes require continual improvement to ensure all students feel protected on our campus.
Nutt went on to say, “change is difficult, especially across a complex institution; however, we need concrete and coordinated actions if we are to improve as an organization and eliminate barriers to all our students, staff and faculty.” This statement strongly reinforces the sense of dedication that Nutt has for digging into CI’s systems and processes to ensure equality for all members of our community, not just students.
As students, it is easy not to recognize the potential hardships and discrimination that our campus faculty, staff and professors also may be facing, so it is greatly reassuring to have an individual like Nutt who is advocating for the common good of all CI’s community members.
Additionally, Nutt’s goals of raising awareness and improving campus processes are connected in their shared necessity for the training of “Title IX, DHR (discrimination, harassment, or retaliation), and ADA issues, that need to be available to all stakeholders.” He went on to share that he feels “Training and other efforts at awareness should give people useful information and build actionable skills, essentially giving people the knowledge and tools to report problems and be part of creating comprehensive solutions.”
In response to his final goal of creating alternative resolution processes, he clarified that investigations into many complaints may not be appropriate and that he is working to create alternative solutions that “will provide students, faculty and staff with additional options for prompt resolution of concerns when appropriate.”
While 2020 has been a whirlwind of political, systematic and racial tensions, individuals like Nutt are actively pushing for the betterment of our communities and equality amongst our community members. We hope that students feel encouraged and comfortable with reaching out to Nutt with any concerns about things they may hear or see on campus or in our broad social communities. He is here and determined to help find solutions to many of the problems students secretly face, but a key part of the process is community involvement. Systems like those that Nutt works so hard to develop are strengthened by the support of the communities they serve, and at CI, we should always support our fellow dolphins.
Included are several links to various reporting resources that are available to all: