KU hires new director of office probing discrimination cases

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas has hired a new administrator to lead its office responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment.

Michael "Shane" McCreery was hired by the university after a national search for a new director for the office of Institutional Opportunity and Access.

As such, McCreery — who spent the last 12 years as director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics and Access at Illinois State University — will be KU's new Title IX director.

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

McCreery's office will investigate complaints regarding race, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender and sex, and sexual violence, The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/2b43Rqh ) reported.

He begins his new role on Sept. 1, taking over from Joshua Jones, who has been serving as director of the office on an interim basis since October.

"Shane emerged from a very strong applicant pool because of his extensive experience as an equal opportunity leader and as a Title IX coordinator," Mike Rounds, associate vice provost for Human Resource Management, said in a news release Friday.

The university is facing three sexual assault-related lawsuits that were filed this year. Two involve members of the women's rowing team who said they were raped by the same KU football player, and that the university failed to protect them.

The third lawsuit was filed by the parents of one of the rowers, claiming the university falsely advertises a safe campus residence life.

The university has said it takes claims of sexual assault and sexual violence seriously, but declined to talk about details of either rower's claims.

The former football player accused of assaulting both women was expelled last spring after the university investigated the women's claims. He did not face criminal charges and his name was never released by the university or in the lawsuits.

The federal government is investigating two complaints of Title IX violations at the university, while a third case filed in 2011 has been resolved.

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