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Provost Appoints Eardley as Title IX Administrator, Assistant Vice Provost

February 25th, 2015

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430, BasiC@missouri.edu

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— University of Missouri Provost Garnett Stokes announced today that she has appointed Ellen Eardley, a partner at Mehri & Skalet in Washington, D.C., and an adjunct faculty member at American University Washington College of Law, as assistant vice provost and Title IX administrator. This position is responsible for assuring compliance with all Title IX laws as well as overseeing monitoring of University policy in relation to Title IX, implementing grievance and resolution procedures and providing educational materials and training for the campus community. Eardley will start April 20.

“We’re excited that Ellen will be joining us at MU and taking on this crucial responsibility,” Stokes said. “Our very top priority is providing a safe and healthy learning and working environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors. This means an environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity or sexual orientation, and includes sexual harassment or misconduct of any kind.”

Eardley received a bachelor’s degree in English from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in women’s studies and a Juris Doctor from the University of Cincinnati. Previously, she worked at the National Women’s Law Center, where she worked on a case before the U.S. Supreme Court related to Title IX and conducted investigations of educational institutions’ compliance with civil rights laws. She has trained community organizers and advocates on Title IX and published reports analyzing federal and state laws relating to sex discrimination in education.

“I am honored to join the University of Missouri’s leadership team,” Eardley said. “I look forward to working with students, faculty and staff to continue to implement Mizzou’s gender equity policies and to prevent discrimination, harassment and assault from occurring in the first place. I invite open and honest discussion on these issues of utmost importance.”

“We know that Ellen will build on the leadership of Linda Bennett, MU’s interim Title IX coordinator, to ensure that our community responds to incidents of harassment and sexual misconduct fairly and in accordance with current best practices and guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education,” Stokes said. “We continue to work to be a model for Title IX compliance in higher education.”

At the law firm of Mehri & Skalet, Eardley worked with Cyrus Mehri, author of the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one candidate of color for general manager and head coaching positions, as a consultant for the NFL on issues of social responsibility. Eardley also has developed diversity and inclusion policies for corporations as part of settlement negotiations to resolve allegations of sex and race discrimination.

Eardley has made presentations to the Disability Rights Bar National Conference, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Annual Conference, American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Annual Conference, and the Women Work! National Conference. She has co-authored and  contributed to several publications, including “Legal Remedies for Girls’ Under-representation in Nontraditional Career and Technical Education,” “Legal Guide for Women: What Every Woman Needs to Know About the Law and Marriage, Health Care, Divorce, Discrimination, Retirement and More,” and “Handbook for Achieving Gender Equity through Education.”

Eardley is licensed to practice law by the state of Illinois and the District of Columbia. She is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar.

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