Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or other education program that receives federal money. It was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 and states:
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
You may be familiar with Title IX in the context of athletics programs, but Title IX also prohibits sex-based discrimination that results from sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment), sexual violence (including sexual assault and domestic/dating/intimate partner violence) and stalking.
What is Required of Schools?
Title IX requires higher education institutions to employ a Title IX Coordinator tasked with ensuring compliance and coordinating the investigative process. In addition, schools are required to have a published complaint resolution process that explains to a student, employee or third-party how to report an allegation of harassment or discrimination, list campus and community-based support resources for the parties involved in the investigation process, offer support measures for the parties involved in the investigation process, and explain possible disciplinary procedures.
Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator is the individual designated by the university to coordinate the institution’s compliance with Title IX, including overseeing all sex discrimination complaints and identifying and addressing any patterns or systematic problems that arise during the review of such complaints. The Title IX Coordinator is also responsible for:
- Determining whether the complaint allegations are prohibited sexual misconduct, sexual assault, sexual violence, or stalking.
- Appointing an investigator to conduct a formal investigation.
- Ensuring reports and complaints are handled properly in a prompt and timely manner.
- Informing students, employees, and witnesses of their rights during a formal investigation and what campus and community support resources are available to them.
- Confirming that all parties have been notified of the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX’s conclusion and the right to, and procedures for, an appeal, if applicable.
- Maintaining information and documentation related to the investigation in a secure manner, consistent with the university's obligations to disclose information as required by law.