Catherine Spear, J.D.

Catherine Criswell Spear is the Associate Vice President (AVP) for the Office for Equal Opportunity & Civil Rights (EOCR) at the University of Virginia and has been with the University for four years. As the AVP for EOCR, she leads a 16-person team in support of the University’s prevention, education, and response efforts to ensure equal opportunity and protect the civil rights of all University community members, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors. EOCR is responsible for administering University policies that prohibit discrimination and harassment on a variety of protected characteristics, including gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, national origin/ethnicity, and disability, as well as prohibit retaliation. Prior to joining the University of Virginia, Ms. Spear was the first full-time dedicated Title IX Coordinator at Stanford University. Before Stanford, Ms Spear worked in the Cleveland office of the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for 19 years, including as Chief Attorney and then Director. OCR is responsible for enforcing federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin, age, and disability in K-12 and higher education. Ms. Spear is an affiliated consultant for TNG (National Center on Higher Education Risk Management), as well as serves or has recently served on advisory boards/committees for ATIXA (Association of Title IX Administrators), NACUA (National Association for College and University Attorneys), Futures Without Violence, the National Association of ADA Coordinators, and EVERFI (for Sexual Assault and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). Ms. Spear also is a Commissioner on the Charlottesville Human Rights Commission. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Dayton and a Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Her pronouns are she, her, hers.

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