Ethan Bachand ’22
Chief News Editor
On Feb. 15, Derek DeBobes was announced as the new Director of the Office of Title IX and Equal Opportunity. This decision comes after three finalists were presented through open forums to the campus community. The Search Committee made the final decision, with DeBobes scheduled to start at the College of the Holy Cross on Mar. 16.
Following the departure of former Title IX Director Tracy Kennedy at the end of the last academic year, a search committee was formed in order to determine the next person to fill the role. Members of the committee came from a variety of backgrounds, including administrators, professors, and students. This committee was led by Interim Title IX Coordinator and Director of Government and Community Relations Jamie Hoag.
Candidates were originally interviewed over a two-day period in Boston, after which semi-finalists were selected to come to campus. At that point, open community sessions were held where students and faculty could meet the three remaining candidates.
Speaking to The Spire, Hoag said that the hardest part of the search process was “making sure we got the right person with the right set of skills to serve the needs of our community.” Hoag continued, “I think that we’re at an important point with Title IX on campus, and this an important issue for our community. I think we’ve done that with Derek.”
One of the most important parts of the hiring process was finding someone that not only was equipped to run a Title IX office, as Hoag pointed out, but could also handle the new aspect of Equal Opportunity as well: “I think he has a wide range of skills and the depth and breadth of experience that will serve our campus well at this particular time. The position is both director of Title IX and Equal Opportunity, so not only Title IX issues but also issues of discrimination. He brings experience on both of those levels, so that will help in terms of growing the office.”
Hoag continued his praise of DeBobes, saying: “He has experience working with students, faculty, staff, and then also working on preventative education, which I think is very important. Not only responding to incidents as they come into the office, but also being proactive in conducting training and being an ambassador for the office: going out and meeting with students, faculty, and staff, explaining what the role of the office is and how the office is there to serve them.”
As a new phase in the history of Title IX and Equal Opportunity begins at Holy Cross, Hoag sees a more proactive approach coming from DeBobes. Along with being an office on campus, the Office of Title IX and Equal Opportunity will have a more proactive presence. As Hoag put it, DeBobes offers the best opportunity for that type of outreach, saying, “I think he has experience doing those trainings, and he has experience doing that type of outreach, focusing on both the Title IX and Equal Opportunity issues. I think we were lucky to have some strong candidates, and I think each would have brought certain skills to the table, but the search committee decided that Derek would be the best fit for our campus right now.”
Photo by Valentina Moran ’23.