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NACUA's First Decade Award

Sandhya Subramanian - 2017

Before coming to Oberlin in July 2008, Sandhya Subramanian served as chief attorney at the U.S. Department of Education’s Cleveland Office for Civil Rights, where she oversaw a staff of 14 attorneys and helped to lead the office’s efforts to enforce federal laws barring educational entities from engaging in discrimination on the bases of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age. Previously, Ms. Subramanian was a special litigation counsel in the Special Litigation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Subramanian also worked as a policy counsel at the National Partnership for Women & Families from 1998 to 2000, where she coordinated a nationwide initiative to make family and medical leave more affordable and conducted outreach on gender discrimination issues. She also coauthored an amicus curiae brief successfully arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court should recognize a cause of action for peer sexual harassment under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Before working at the National Partnership, Ms. Subramanian served as a clerk for Judge Sidney R. Thomas of the U.S. Court Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Billings, MT.

Ms. Subramanian graduated from Yale College with a BS, summa cum laude, in chemistry and women’s studies in 1993. She earned her JD in 1996 at Yale School of Law, where she served as an articles editor on the staff of the Yale Law Journal. She also coauthored an article, Mrs. Dred Scott, that was subsequently published in the Journal in 1997.

Sandhya has been a NACUA member since 2008 and was elected as an at-large member of the NACUA Board of Directors during 2012-2015. She has served on the Committee on Program for the Annual Conference, the Committee on Finance and Audit, the Committee on Strategic Planning, and the Board Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusivity. She has also spoken or moderated at over fifteen sessions at various NACUA educational programs.

In the words of one of her colleagues, Sandhya’s service in her relatively short time has been extraordinary. She has been a frequent, thoughtful, and incisive speaker and an active committee participant and leader of NACUA. She is also a helpful colleague to many “offline” by sharing her experiences.

NACUA is pleased to recognize Sandhya Subramanian as a recipient of this year’s First Decade Award for her outstanding service to the Association and to the practice of higher education law during her first ten years of membership.