Alexandra Fulcher was named Title IX Coordinator in a campus-wide email from President Jonathan Veitch Jan. 16. She began the position Jan. 27. This announcement concluded the Title IX Search Committee process to find a replacement for former Title IX Coordinator Jennifer Broomfield. Broomfield held the position for 18 months and left August 2019 due to family health concerns, according to a campus-wide email sent July 29.
Fulcher’s career began in intellectual property law, before she decided she did not enjoy her work and wanted to explore opportunities in higher education. This led her to pursue Title IX work at Texas Tech University, Baylor University and, most recently, Texas A&M University where she worked as Title IX coordinator. Fulcher was motivated to apply to Occidental due to the location and appeal of working in a different campus environment than she was accustomed to.
Veitch, who officially offered Fulcher the position based on the recommendations of the search committee, said he was impressed by her depth of experience and passion for her work.
“Alex has a wide range of experience at every level of the Title IX process, from investigator to review panel chair to deputy coordinator,” Veitch said via email. “Like our first two full-time Title IX Coordinators, Alex is an attorney. Experience shows that legal training is a real asset.”
Fulcher said her investment in the position was solidified when she visited the campus for an interview during the search process Dec. 2.
“I had so many interviews with so many different people and groups,” Fulcher said. “It felt like a really good fit, for a number of reasons. But it just fit, it felt comfortable.”
Fulcher said one of the specific qualities in her interview process that attracted her to Occidental was the straightforward and transparent nature of community members.
“I really value directness and I found that most of the people that I interacted with [at Occidental] were very comfortable being direct, even if it’s not the most comfortable thing,” Fulcher said.
According to Junko Anderson (junior), a member of the search committee, the committee prioritized direct experience, translatable skills and compatibility with the campus community. Anderson works as a Programming Assistant (PA) for Project Sexual Assault Free Environment (SAFE) and said this impacted their lens on the search.
“As a PA, it was important to me to be able to be personally comfortable with whoever we recommended, as I will be working somewhat closely with the Title IX Coordinator for the next year and a half,” Anderson said via email. “Obviously, community needs come first, and it was the highest priority that the candidates be able to support student needs, but there was that personal element for me.”
According to Anderson, Fulcher’s composure and warmth gave them confidence in her ability to succeed at Occidental.
Two-thirds of Title IX coordinators have been in their jobs for less than three years, according to the Association of Title IX Administrators. Occidental has had three Title IX Coordinators in the past four years. According to Fulcher, high turnover rate for Title IX Coordinators in higher education is a national problem. Despite this trend, she said she intends to stay at Occidental longer than the routine tenure for a coordinator.
“My plan is to be here long term,” Fulcher said. “I moved halfway across the country, which was miserable. So I really want to get invested here and become a part of the community.”
Veitch said the College continues to prioritize longevity in Title IX Coordinators.
“It’s a difficult, stressful job,” Veitch said via email. “In Alex’s case, as in every hire, we want to do everything we can to ensure that she will be effective in her job and have a long career at Oxy.”
Fulcher said she hopes to focus on learning more about and implementing restorative justice practices into the Title IX process. She hopes to attend trainings specifically on restorative justice practices in cases of sexual harm, an area of expertise emerging for schools across the country. Fulcher specifically hopes restorative justice can provide a resource if Occidental is required to amend their Title IX process to include hearings by the proposed Department of Education (DOE) Title IX regulations. Fulcher said, as of now, the DOE regulations are still proposed and no updates have been communicated.
“I think [restorative justice] presents a really good opportunity to identify harm and do your best to resolve the harm, but address it in a way that is less intimidating than having to go through a hearing process,” Fulcher said.
Fulcher said she hopes that people feel comfortable coming to her and talking to her as she remains mindful of her position as an outsider coming into the Occidental community.
“I’m always willing to listen to feedback,” Fulcher said. “I solicit feedback, but I also welcome unsolicited feedback.”