A message from SVP Washington

Mar. 14, 2024

Dear Trojan Community,

I write today to share that Catherine Spear, our Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX, has been tapped to serve as Executive Director of the inaugural Office of Civil Rights at the University of California (UC) system, and our very own Linda Hoos, a Gould School of Law alum and current Associate Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX, and Title IX Coordinator, will step into the top role at USC’s Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (EEO-TIX), effective April 5, 2024. These opportunities represent capstone events for both women.

During the pandemic, I recruited Catherine to USC to lead EEO-TIX, our newly centralized report and response office, to enforce our new omnibus Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation. As one of the most experienced civil rights and Title IX practitioners in the country, I knew Catherine would be able to step into this role without a steep learning curve, which is what USC needed at that moment in time. Catherine was then serving as Associate Vice President, Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights at the University of Virginia and had previously served as Stanford’s first Title IX Coordinator. Prior to that, she led the Cleveland regional office of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for approximately 20 years. 

Since joining USC in August 2020 as the university’s first Vice President for EEO-TIX, Catherine has worked with and developed the mature team of professionals within EEO-TIX who support our students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors: our intake, care, and support team; investigation and resolution professionals; and training, education, and prevention experts. This team works tirelessly to provide care and support, while ensuring that the many procedural steps required by Title IX and other regulations are met in each case.

One of the accomplishments of which Catherine is most proud, and which I agree has been essential to the effective response to reported concerns, is the implementation of the Initial Assessment Triage Team (IATT). IATT brings together university personnel and helps to coordinate information to support a sensitive, informed response to reports received by EEO-TIX under the initial assessment provisions of our Policy and accompanying Resolution Processes. Through IATT, campus partners meet several times a week to discuss concerns falling within the jurisdiction of the Policy; assess safety, risk, and threats; evaluate any pattern or similar conduct evidence; and ensure all information is available, as well as the identity of persons with known facts. The process has helped break down silos in information sharing while enriching efforts to provide timely support to reporting parties and respondents.

We are deeply grateful to Catherine for her impact in helping to transform USC’s efforts to foster a community free from discrimination and harassment. While Catherine will be missed, the programs and initiatives developed under her tenure will live on in the robust efforts of the EEO-TIX team and continued leadership of Linda Hoos, who will take helm as our new Vice President for EEO-TIX and Title IX Coordinator.  

Linda has tremendous experience in the civil rights space and is known in the community for her caring approach. A graduate of Gould School of Law over 20 years ago, Linda has spent most of her career in civil rights and the last 10 years in higher education. When recruited to USC in the Fall of 2021, Linda was serving as Systemwide Title IX Compliance Officer and Senior Systemwide Director of Title IX Compliance Services at the California State University System, having previously served as Systemwide Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Compliance Officer. Prior to that, Linda served as Title IX Coordinator, Chief Diversity Officer, and Assistant Vice President, Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Compliance at Cal Poly Pomona.

Her bio on the EEO-TIX site shares that Linda’s “favorite thing about USC is its campus community,” and if you’ve had the opportunity to interact with her, you can feel that it’s true. Linda is committed to giving individuals a space to be heard. Her approach reinforces her openness and commitment to a culture in which all feel welcome and safe, whether interacting with her one-on-one or when she is part of a team, university committee, panel, or is presenting to our schools and administrative units.

I am confident that under Linda’s leadership, EEO-TIX will continue to provide quality, compassionate, and equitable services, support, and resources to our Trojan community.

Please join me in congratulating Linda on her new role and wishing Catherine the best in her future endeavors.

Fight On!

Felicia A. Washington
Senior Vice President
Human Resources, Equity, and Compliance


Office of the President
President’s Senior Leadership Team
Academic Deans
Provost’s Leadership Team
Academic Senate 
Staff Assembly​​​​​
GSG President
USG President