UWL announces staffing changes to affirmative action officer, director of Title IX, assistant dean of students positions


Photo retrieved from UWL campus news.

From left to right: Dr. Dina Zavala, Kara Ostlund and Charissa Jakusz.

Julia Balli, Executive Editor

On June 26 at 8:21 a.m. the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow emailed students and staff about changes in several staffing positions on the administration level.

Assistant Vice Chancellor of diversity and inclusion Dr. Dina Zavala will now take on the additional position of affirmative action officer starting July 1.

The affirmative action officer works within the Office of Equity & Affirmative Action and responsible for tracking UWL’s progress toward meeting affirmative action goals in the hiring of faculty and staff, and for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations related to affirmative action, equal employment opportunity, gender equity, and accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Zavala began to work at UWL during the 2019 fall semester and has been working at UWL for a little under a year.

It was stated in the email that, “[Zavala] received her bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages from UW River Falls, her Master of Arts in Instruction from St. Mary’s University-Minneapolis and her Ph. D. from North Dakota State University.”

Zavala plans to work in both positions and “blend the responsibilities” of affirmative action officer with the Vice Chancellor of diversity and inclusion.

Contact Zavala at [email protected] or (608) 785-5057.

“In response to our need to provide a more concentrated focus on Title IX issues,” as stated in the email from Gow, assistant dean of students Kara Ostlund will be working as the director of Title IX starting July 1. Ostlund has been working at UWL since the summer of 2018 when she joined the Student Life Office.

Ostlund earned two degrees from Appalachian State University; one being a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, Secondary Education, and a master’s in College Student Development with a focus in Student Affairs. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Ostlund will be responsible for overseeing Title IX investigations for faculty, staff, and students. As the director of Title IX, “areas of responsibilities include but are not limited to prevention and mediation of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking and intimate partner violence.” Ostlund will also provide direction to, “UWL’s compliance with applicable regulatory requirements,” as stated in the email.

Contact Ostlund at [email protected] or (608) 785-8062.

Charissa Jakusz will become an interim assistant dean of students within the UWL Division of Student Affairs starting July 1.

Jakusz was previously working at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota as the dean of students and Chief Judicial Officer. Her previous role at Saint Mary’s University included responsibility for Title IX investigations and adjudications and managing the Behavior Intervention Team.

“Jakusz completed coursework toward her Doctorate in Education degree in Educational Leadership in August 2019 at St. Mary’s University and is currently working on her dissertation.”

Jakusz’s responsibilities at UWL will be managing the daily operation of the student conduct program and serve as the primary Title IX investigator.

To read the full email visit the UWL campus news website.