Maura Smith, Title IX coordinator and director of compliance, will be leaving her position at University of Richmond on Feb. 24, according to a university-wide email sent Thursday morning by Shannon Sinclair, the university's general counsel.

In the email, Sinclair wrote that Smith had accepted a position as director of human resources within the athletic department at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Smith began her role as Title IX coordinator for Richmond in August 2015. She has encountered much controversy surrounding the university’s Title IX process during her tenure.

Tracy Cassalia, interim deputy Title IX coordinator, will serve as the primary point of contact for anyone wishing to report an incident of sexual misconduct until Smith’s position is filled, according to the email.

"[Cassalia] also will work in conjunction with other campus colleagues as necessary to ensure that all Maura’s Title IX responsibilities are met," Cynthia Price, director of media and public relations, said. "We are beginning the search to fill Maura’s role right away."

While serving in her position, Smith created a student advisory board for sexual misconduct prevention and response, funded the creation of the Peer Sexual Misconduct Advisors (PSMA) program and helped with the transition of the sexual misconduct investigative and adjudicative process to becoming independent from the coordinate college system.

Sinclair wrote in the email that a national search to replace Smith would begin immediately. The search committee will include students, faculty and staff.

Contact reporter Jocelyn Grzeszczak at