Kelly Oaks has been named assistant vice president of the Office for Equity and Accessibility at Virginia Tech.

Following eight years in Hawaii, the Virginia Tech alumna and former employee has returned to Blacksburg, where her primary responsibilities now include advancing the university’s efforts to create an inclusive, accessible, and discrimination/harassment-free environment.

Oaks previously worked at Virginia Tech from 2003-09 as the director for equity initiatives and earned her doctorate of philosophy in counselor education from Virginia Tech in 2010.

As the assistant vice president for the Office for Equity and Accessibility, Oaks will oversee the university’s affirmative action, equal opportunity, and accessibility efforts.  She will also provide leadership to Virginia Tech’s compliance and conflict resolution programs.

Additionally, Oaks will serve as the chief equal opportunity, affirmative action, a­nd civil rights officer and the Title VII and Title IX coordinator.

“As both an alumna and former employee, I have a special affinity and connection to this campus,” said Oaks. “I have always been an advocate and champion for equity and accessibility, and I feel like this is the perfect opportunity for me to serve Virginia Tech, while fostering an inclusive community.”

Oaks served as the director of equal employment opportunity and affirmative a­­ction at the University of Hawaii from 2009 to 2011 and associate vice chancellor for student affairs and the dean of students at the University of Hawaii at Hilo from 2011-16.

During her eight-year career at the University of Hawaii, she led the campus’ student conduct program and behavioral intervention team, managed the Title IX and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and discrimination and harassment complaint processes, and had an integral role in the university’s equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, policies, and procedures.

She has held related positions at the University of Nevada and Truckee Meadows Community College, both in Reno, Nevada.

In addition to her doctorate, Oaks has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas, and a master's degree in counseling and educational psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno.

She is a member of the American Association for Affirmative Action, the Association of Title IX Administrators, the Higher Education Case Managers Association, and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Written by Katie Huger, employee communications manager.

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