LAWRENCE — The first program director of a newly created center to coordinate the University of Kansas’ ongoing sexual assault prevention and education efforts is an experienced prevention educator who has led the largest comprehensive sexual assault program in Iowa.
Jennifer Brockman comes to KU from the University of Iowa, where she served as executive director of the University’s Rape Victim Advocacy Program. There, she managed a program that serves 250,000 people in eight counties. She led a staff of 22, supported by more than 50 volunteers. She also has delivered and coordinated primary sexual assault prevention curriculum and awareness training across four institutions of higher education and numerous secondary schools.
Her first day at KU will be Jan. 20.
“I think KU has positioned itself in a very innovative way to tackle some of the hurdles related to sexual assault on campus,” Brockman said. “The approach has been very intentional, and I hope to build upon these efforts into the future.”
She said she would reach out to students, faculty and staff to coordinate and enhance ongoing efforts.
The new Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Center serves as the central coordinating office for KU’s sexual assault prevention and education programming, the assessment of those efforts and the creation of future programming. The center will shift education and prevention responsibilities away from other KU units, including Public Safety, Student Affairs, Watkins Health Services and the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, so that those units may focus on their core functions.
Brockman, who has previously worked as a sexual assault prevention educator at the University of Arkansas, is the center’s first employee. It will soon add two educator positions and an administrative assistant.
“As universities around the country continue to address sexual assault and violence, we are seeking to ensure that KU is a national leader in finding new ways to address these issues,” said Tammara Durham, vice provost for student affairs.
The formation of the center is one of several changes the university has undertaken as a direct result of the recommendations of the Chancellor’s Task Force on Sexual Assault, which submitted its final report in May 2015. KU has implemented or will implement 22 of the 27 recommendations. In October, the university announced an agreement with the Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center — formerly known as GaDuGi SafeCenter — regarding sexual assault and sexual violence. That agreement addressed another specific recommendation of the task force.