- Associated Press - Thursday, January 12, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The University of California has created a new post for a Title IX coordinator to oversee efforts across its 10 campuses to tackle sexual violence and harassment after a string of cases involving faculty members.

The UC named current UCLA Title IX officer Kathleen Salvaty, an attorney, to the new job that includes overseeing investigations into complaints of discrimination and harassment and also sanctioning faculty or students who violate campus policies.

She will start her new job Feb. 6, working with Title IX officers at all campuses and reporting directly to UC President Janet Napolitano, the UC said in a statement.

“Hiring Kathleen is a critical next step in making sure our recently overhauled policies to prevent, adjudicate and sanction sexual misconduct at UC are properly, and consistently, carried out,” Napolitano said in a statement.

The announcement comes after a series of sexual harassment scandals at UC schools and amid growing attention to the issue of sexual violence on college campuses.

In November, the UC created new guidelines on sexual harassment for its powerful governing board after one of its regents, media mogul Norman J. Pattiz, was caught on tape making inappropriate comments to a female employee.

Pattiz told the Los Angeles Times at the time that he “deeply regrets” making the comments.

Under the new policy, all regents now must take the university’s training program in sexual harassment prevention, as do employees at all 10 campuses.

In March, after complaints that penalties were too light, Napolitano created a system-wide peer review committee to evaluate proposed sanctions for senior university leaders and faculty found guilty of misconduct.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks’ resigned last August after critics alleged he was too lenient when handling sexual harassment cases involving several faculty members. Dirks has remained in the job until a new successor is in place.

Title IX is the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any publicly funded education program or activity.

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