Peña named KU’s vice president for Equity, Compliance and liaison for Legal Affairs

Jesus A. Peña

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Jesus A. Peña, Esq., has been named vice president for Equity, Compliance and liaison for Legal Affairs at Kutztown University. He began his tenure July 6.

In his new role, Peña will oversee the offices of Disability Services, Public Safety and Police Services and Social Equity. He will lead KU’s protection of minors efforts and the creation, implementation and oversight of the university’s Risk Assessment Plan. He will also conduct all Article 42, 22 and Title IX investigations. Additionally, Peña has agreed to serve as the interim Title IX coordinator for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, providing support and coordination for matters related to Title IX within the State System.

“Jesus has exceptional qualifications for this role and will provide the university’s leadership team with sound legal advice,” said Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, Kutztown University president. “His long experience at KU demonstrates a firm understanding of our institutional history. I am excited to have him in this advanced role and look forward to his continued contributions to the university community.”

During his 15 years at Kutztown University, Peña has served as the deputy to the president for Compliance, Equity and Legal Affairs, as well as the university’s Title IX coordinator. His responsibilities included providing leadership in shaping the direction of the university, directly advising the president and the president’s cabinet on matters pertaining to equal employment and educational opportunities. He drafted policies, programming and training to educate the campus community on civil rights laws and regulations, the university’s Sexual Harassment Policy, Anti-Harassment Policy, Anti-Discrimination Policy, Title IX, the Violence Against Women Act and the Clery Act, among various other duties.

Some of Peña’s specific accomplishments as deputy for Compliance, Equity and Legal Affairs include assisting in the increase of the number of faculty and administrators of color employed at KU, drafting the university’s annual Affirmative Action Plan and the Adjunct Pool Hiring Guidelines, and assisting in the creation of an educational training video titled “How to Request Accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.” He also oversaw the provision of necessary and reasonable accommodations to approximately 700 qualified students, faculty and staff with disabilities.

“I am excited about my expanded role at KU,” Pena said. “I look forward to working with the entire campus for the betterment of the university.”

Prior to his time at KU, Peña served as the director of Communications and Press for the Pennsylvania Department of State, the director of human resources for the City of Reading and the owner of his own general law practice. He is also a published author, having written a history book titled, “The History of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc,” and a children’s book titled, “I Will Be a Lambda.”

Peña earned a Bachelor of Arts in history at Rutgers University and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers University School of Law. He has been admitted to the practice of law in New Jersey, Florida, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania.