Higher education institutions receiving federal funding are required to designate a coordinator who is responsible for ensuring the school complies with Title IX. This might not sound like much, but it’s actually a huge undertaking for Title IX coordinators.
And unfortunately, many times, the Title IX coordinator is thrown into the position without a complete understanding of their responsibilities. So we are going to give an overview of some of the more important aspects of the job; however, for a complete review of Title IX regulations, you should refer to the Office of Civil Right’s (OCR).
The Title IX coordinator needs to be the expert on all things relating to Title IX. For example, this person needs to understand that Title IX is about more than equality in sports. It’s also about more than sexual assault. Title IX coordinators are also responsible for responding to all complaints of possible sex discrimination and coordinating proper responses to complaints.
The Title IX coordinator should be aware of each type of discrimination covered under Title IX. Additionally, the Title IX coordinator needs to know the ins and outs of your campus’s policies and procedures on sex discrimination and sexual misconduct. For instance, how does your campus define consent? What resources are available on campus to provide supportive measures to an impacted person? The coordinator needs to know the answers to these questions.
In fact, it’s a best practice to have the Title IX coordinator involved with the creation of campus policies. This way they can ensure the policies match Title IX requirements.
Another responsibility Title IX coordinators have is to not only stop harassment, but to also ensure the campus’s sex discrimination and sexual violence prevention initiatives prevent the reoccurrence of harassment. For example, the Title IX coordinator may assist in providing student training to help prevent sexual violence on campuses, such as dating and domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault and harassment.
To understand if these prevention efforts are making a difference, campuses may choose to conduct a campus climate survey. This is something the Title IX coordinator should be significantly involved in so that they can work with campus partners to analyze the information collected and measure the success and failures of their prevention efforts.
One of the most challenging responsibilities of the Title IX coordinator is investigating complaints and enforcing disciplinary actions. When a person reports sex discrimination or allegations of sexual misconduct, the Title IX coordinator must oversee the investigation from beginning to end which can include among other Title IX requirements:
Additionally, the Title IX coordinator should be accessible and available to meet with students who need guidance or want to make a complaint.
Finally, Title IX coordinators are responsible for collaborating with other departments to ensure compliance with Title IX laws and campus policies. That means Title IX coordinators need to develop relationships with human resources, general counsel, public safety, student affairs, etc. to ensure each department is working together.
For example, if a student employee makes a complaint that a supervising staff member discriminated against them because of their sex, the Title IX coordinator will need to involve human resources in the investigation process.
Title IX coordinators have numerous responsibilities to ensure that your campus maintains Title IX compliance. But more importantly, they are the key to helping create a campus that is free from sexual violence and discrimination and that welcomes and supports all students.