President’s Letter to the Pitzer Community Announcing Title IX Coordinator/Chief Diversity Officer Position

November 12, 2015

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

I write today not to respond to one particular event, but to address the collective frustrations and lessons not learned that have faced us both nationally and locally over my tenure in the president’s office. During this time, I have witnessed and learned of cultural insensitivity, blatant acts of bigotry, racially motivated threats of violence, and civil rights violations on many college campuses, including our own. All of these events affect our community members in deep and personal ways. I know because I am a person of color, because I am a daughter’s father, and because I am a husband. I know because many of you have opened up to me and shared your stories. For this, I am ever humbled and grateful. To have garnered your trust and to repay it with mere words in this time of crisis would dishonor you. So I have decided to take the action of creating the position of Title IX Coordinator/Chief Diversity Officer to begin as soon as possible. Our current Title IX Coordinator and Human Resources Director, Marni Bobich, has performed heroically in both of these roles, and I have asked her to draft the position description and maintain both sets of duties until the position is filled. I believe that the most expeditious and appropriate way forward would be for the Diversity Committee of the College to work with other interested parties to refine the job description and then establish a committee to conduct the search. I hope that they will agree to take this on and to create a process to gather broad input for the position description as well as broad participation from the Pitzer Community during the interview process. I hope that many of you will see this as an opportunity to define a position that will make substantive headway in many of our critical needs.

I also realize that this action does not address the short-term needs of those affected by the ongoing local and national events. Any community member or groups of community members who wish to meet with me regarding these events may make an appointment with me through my executive assistant, Melanie Lacy ([email protected]). I have instructed her to make these appointments a priority next week when I am back in town. Students who have been impacted by the recent events should contact the Office of Student Affairs at extension 72821 for information about academic accommodations and support.


Thomas Poon
Interim President

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility, and community involvement. For more information, please visit

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