Campus Report

Office for Civil Rights transition

Office of Communications
March 25, 2016

A leadership transition in the Office for Civil Rights this spring will bring Samantha Hughes into the role of civil rights and Title IX coordinator.

Hughes will replace Andrea Goldblum no later than June 1. Goldblum, who joined the College as civil rights and Title IX coordinator in April 2015, has decided to continue her career at a larger institution in a larger community – a move that she said better suits her professional and personal interests.

President Sean Decatur announced the appointment of Hughes, now director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Student Affairs Division. Hughes will join the Office of the President under the supervision of Chief of Staff Susan Morse.

“The work of Andrea Goldblum has been of great benefit as Kenyon has progressed since July 1 in enacting a new, campus-wide Title IX and Violence Against Women Act policy,” Decatur said. “Andrea’s grasp of the policy, work ethic in helping us implement that policy and understanding of federal government expectations has helped us improve life at the College.

“And we are pleased that Samantha Hughes will help us advance the work that is underway to help maintain a safe and proper educational and workplace environment. Samantha’s evident dedication to her profession and finely tuned sense of the Kenyon community will serve the College well in her new role.”

Hughes joined the offices of Academic Advising and Residential Life as area coordinator for first-year students in August 1997. She became dean of residential life in January 2001, then left the College in June 2003 for three years of full-time parenting. Hughes returned to Kenyon in August 2006 in her current role, in which she serves as the chief student conduct officer and adjudicator for student-specific Title IX and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) cases. She also has assisted Linda Smolak, deputy civil rights and Title IX coordinator and professor emerita of psychology, in campus-wide Title IX and VAWA training and education programming.

Hughes will conclude her work as adjudicator before taking on her new role as coordinator of employee, faculty and student cases derived from Title IX and VAWA complaints.

She appreciates the opportunity. “It’s challenging, and I enjoy a challenge,” Hughes said. “I have to bring my ‘A’ game to my job every day.

“Our numbers of reported incidents will go up, and I see that as a positive. People feel more comfortable coming forward. I would like to see those numbers reach a plateau and then go down,” Hughes said. “There will be issues. But we are challenging everyone on this Hill to think about how they respect and treat each other and how they conduct themselves. Are we open and welcoming and supportive of all people? That’s where we need to go.”

Goldblum praised the Kenyon community for embracing the new Title IX/VAWA policy, its implementation and accompanying education programs. “Kenyon is firmly headed in the right direction,” she said. “We still have work to do. But I have people coming up to me and saying, ‘I have Title IX issues.’ It’s become part of the vocabulary, part of the awareness.”

Her decision to seek employment elsewhere is not a reflection on Kenyon, she said. “I learned a lot. People have been very positive. And I think we’re in a better place now.”

Meredith Harper Bonham ’92, vice president for student affairs, will begin a search for a successor to Hughes.

“Sam is passionate about working with students and approaches her work with great integrity and discretion,” Bonham said. “She displays remarkable sensitivity, fairness and compassion. She will be a superb Title IX coordinator.”