In Times of Need: John Kaulfus, Ed.D.
In the basement of the Holly Auditorium and down a short hallway, you’ll find a locked door. While there are many locked doors at UT Health San Antonio, some containing dangerous chemicals and medical equipment, this door is locked for a different reason: to provide a safe space for anyone who needs it.
This safe space houses our Title IX office. Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination or exclusion from any education program or activity on the basis of sex. John Kaulfus, Ed.D., director and chief student affairs officer, has led the Title IX office at UT Health San Antonio for nearly five years.
Dr. Kaulfus’ duties include overseeing all Title IX complaints involving students, faculty, residents and trainees, developing Title IX training for all employees, and administering campuswide Title IX programming and outreach efforts.
Due to the nature of his work, no two days in the office look the same.
“I may have my whole day planned and one walk-in or phone call can completely change the course of the day or week,” he said. “The good news is that I have a wonderful team of 15 incredible professionals who put the needs of the students first and take great care to ensure that all policies and processes we oversee are fair, equitable and expediently administered.”
Every day, Dr. Kaulfus’ mission of making sure everyone is able to work and learn in a safe and healthy environment motivates him to ensure that students know there are resources and dedicated professionals on campus to help them in times of need. His mission motivates him to continue striving toward fulfilling the organization’s mission of helping make lives better.
“When people enter my office carrying a heavy emotional burden, it is my job to either take that burden from them or lighten their burden as much as possible,” Dr. Kaulfus said. “Title IX and behavior intervention work is not easy, but it is important and we get to see our efforts succeed, often in real-time. We always seek to educate first and solve issues at the lowest level. Given the nature of my position, I often first meet people during the most challenging times in their lives. It is so gratifying to see them six months to a year later matriculating, working, saving lives, providing care and/or teaching again.”
Apart from his duties as Title IX director, Dr. Kaulfus encourages his colleagues to get involved.
“Get out of your office. Attend concerts sponsored by the president’s office. Volunteer to serve on a working committee or two. Support the SECC, donate to a program on campus that you believe in such as Alzheimer’s research or cancer research, donate to the holiday toy drive, form a walking team and get your steps in, just get involved,” he said.
Dr. Kaulfus’ commitment to our mission and his work is reflected in his words.
“Nothing makes me happier than to have our former students reach out to me to share their success stories from their residencies, internships, fellowships, post-docs and jobs. Our students are literally changing the world and all of us played a part in that.”