The Title IX Coordinator: Best Practice Advice from

Report
THE TITLE IX COORDINATOR:
BEST PRACTICE ADVICE
FROM PRACTITIONERS
JONI BAKER, BELINDA GUTHRIE, & JODY SHIPPER
ATIXA National Conference June 24, 2012 Chicago, IL
Jody Shipper brings more than a
decade of human resource and
employment law experience to her
position as executive director for the
Office of Equity and Diversity at the
University of Southern California. As
the university’s Title IX compliance
officer, Jody has conducted and
overseen countless investigations,
lectured extensively on investigative
procedures and employment, and
provided counsel to employers on risk
management, employment practices
and legal compliance.
Belinda Guthrie is the Associate
Dean of the College and Director of
Equal Opportunity at Vassar
College. She joined Vassar in 1997
to build and direct the student
disability services program, and in
2003 became their first director for
the Office of Equal Opportunity and
Affirmative. She is responsible for
the investigation and resolution of
alleged harassment and
discrimination. Belinda has over 15
years experience in student and
academic affairs, and previously
worked at Smith College.
MEET YOUR PRESENTERS
Joni Baker is the Director of
Equal Opportunity and Diversity
for The Texas A&M University
System, composed of 11
universities, 7 state agencies, and
a health science center. She is
the liaison between the system
and state and federal agencies on
all civil rights issues. Joni
previously served as a Diplomat
with the U.S. Department of
State.
SESSION OUTLINE
• Title IX Coordinator Role and Responsibilities
• From Checklist to Meaningful Implementation and Practice
• Moving Towards a Coordinated Campus Response
• Title IX Compliance Reviews
• Lessons Learned
• 14 Rules for Survival
• Questions and Pressing Issues on your Campus
TITLE IX – BROADER THAN YOU THINK
SCOPE OF TITLE IX
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Admissions
Housing
Recruitment
Student and Employee Benefits
Vocational Counseling
Safety
Financial Aid
Athletics
And, of course, harassment and discrimination
TITLE IX COORDINATOR RESPONSIBILITIES
NOTE: NOT INTENDED TO BE AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST
• Coordination of all campus Title IX programs and activities
including developing, implementing and monitoring campus efforts
to comply with Title IX
• Prevention and remediation of gender based discrimination
including sexual harassment, sexual assault and other forms of
sexual misconduct, staking, intimate partner violence, hazing,
bullying and cyber-bullying
• Principle contact for government inquiries (OCR, EEOC, State
Division of Human Rights, etc.)
• Supervision and coordination of the investigation of complaints of
alleged discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct
TITLE IX COORDINATOR RESPONSIBILITIES
AND THE LIST GOES ON…
• Identification and coordination of initial remedial actions, as
appropriate
• Oversight of prompt and equitable resolution to end the
discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects on the
victim and the community
• Supervision and coordination of the investigation and resolution of
Title IX, VII, Title VI, etc. inter-related complaints
• Prevention and remediation of retaliation, and assurance of
meaningful compliance with sanctions
RESPONSIBILITIES CONT...
• Oversight of campus compliance with Section 504
• Assurance of 1st Amendment and academic freedom protections
• Oversight of Title IX compliance and efforts in athletics programs
• Trainer and/or convener of comprehensive educational programs:
• Conduct administrators/boards and appeal boards/officers
• Investigators
• Safety/Security/Campus Police
• Senior officers, faculty, deans, directors, human resource staff and
supervisors
• Athletics
• Student government association leaders/student organizations
• Summer program staff
FROM CHECKLIST
TO MEANINGFUL IMPLEMENTATION
STEP ONE
• Search the institution’s website for the Title IX
Coordinator – search for yourself • Review published policies
• Check for outdated policies on old web pages
THE OBVIOUS STARTING POINTS
• Harassment and Discrimination Policies
• Grievance policies for students, faculty and other employees
including collective bargaining agreements
• Complaint forms
• Procedures for handling sexual assault cases
• TRAINING – policies and records (PROOF)
• Student counseling resources
• The hand-off process from counseling to investigation to
disciplinary process
OTHER AREAS TO REVIEW
STUDENT DATA
• Recruitment and Admissions
• Financial Aid
• Leaves of absence and re-entry policies
• Sign-on bonuses
• Recruitment incentives
• Retention rates
• Thesis approvals
• Screening examinations – pass/fail rates
• Qualifying examinations
• Achievement awards
EMPLOYEE DATA
• Recruitment data
• Pay rates
• Retention data
• Faculty tenure and rankings
• Benefits
• Leaves of absence
• Childcare
• Safety
* Note: May be necessary to review if the Title IX Coordinator is also responsible for
employee equal opportunity protections and investigation of alleged employee
discrimination and harassment
STEP TWO
(A SORE POINT!)
Title IX Coordinator is the institution’s compliance auditor
and creator and keeper of grievance files, disposition
reports, annual descriptive reports.
• “Identify the number of Title IX complaints, if any, at (YOUR
INSTITUTION), whether formal or informal, filed during the past
five years: 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012
academic year.”
• For each complaint, provide the following information: a brief
description of the complaint, a statement as to the status of the
complaint, length of time complaint was open (notice to
resolution), if the complaint has been closed, a statement as to
whether any decision issued in relation to the complaint was
appealed.
MOVING TOWARDS A
COORDINATED CAMPUS RESPONSE
COORDINATED RESPONSE
• Are you working closely with faculty governing bodies,
administrative bodies, and the student government association to
develop a culture and practice of shared risk management?
• Are you working with the right partners to ensure a coordinated
campus response to gender based discrimination and sexual
violence?
• Is your training truly comprehensive?
• Are there barriers to reporting?
POLICIES, PROCEDURES, AND PRACTICES
What to look for..
• Are they understandable?
• Are they published and widely available in an accessible
format?
• Do they model best practices and are they in the spirit of
the DCL?
• Do they intersect effectively with other institutional
policies, governance, and grievance procedures?
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
• Are there policies or procedures that must be changed because of statutory
provisions, regulatory guidance, or recent case law to assure compliance
with Title IX?
• In practice, do policies and procedures ensure that all complaints are
investigated and addressed promptly, appropriately and equitably?
• How you handle criminal and campus proceedings that converge?
• How does your campus address Title IX /Title VII inter-related complaints?
• Combined?
• Separate?
• Who investigates?
INSTITUTIONAL OBLIGATIONS
• Affording the Title IX Coordinator with campus-wide authority and
considerable latitude to carry out responsibilities effectively,
ethically and with integrity
• Providing institutional support for all aspects of investigation and
equitable resolution of complaints
• Providing meaningful access to relevant policy and governance
making bodies and meaning participation in policy development
• Demonstrating visible institutional support at all levels including
providing sufficient financial and people resources
• Controlling for conflicts of interests.
PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD
• Tell a story
• Involve your media relations office
• Brochures, magazines, images on web sites
• Commendations
• Build strategic alliances with faculty, institutional
leadership and student leaders
• Know when to ask for additional support and ASK!
• Give them more than they asked for – if you’re proud,
let them know
14 RULES FOR SURVIVING A TITLE IX
COMPLIANCE REVIEW
(and not stress out in the process)
Joni E. Baker, Ph.D.
The Texas A&M University System
Nothing in this presentation is
provided as legal advice.
SURVIVING COMPLIANCE REVIEWS
• Rule #1
• Know thy auditor(s).
• Communicate early and often
• Take care of all logistics in advance (travel
directions, parking, supplies)
• Try to find out where they have audited
recently
• Obtain intelligence data: What are their
likes/desires/idiosyncrasies/priorities?
SURVIVING COMPLIANCE REVIEWS
• Rule #2
• Know thy auditor’s boss.
• Take advantage of networking opportunities
• Make courtesy calls
• Don’t be afraid to consult if you’re
“stuck”
SURVIVING COMPLIANCE REVIEWS
• Rule #3
• Have a big boss in the entry conference
(with an excuse to leave early)
• Shows importance of the review to the institution
SURVIVING COMPLIANCE REVIEWS
• Rule #4
• Be a diplomat
• If a diplomat says yes, he means maybe.
• If he says maybe, he means no.
• If he says no, he’s no diplomat.
i.e., don’t be argumentative or confrontational; be receptive to suggestions
or recommendations but don’t agree or commit to something without
proper internal vetting.
SURVIVING COMPLIANCE REVIEWS
• Rule #5
• Assume the auditor(s) know NOTHING about
your institution
• Provide brief overview materials
• Volunteer to give a short tour
• Tickets to events?
SURVIVING COMPLIANCE REVIEWS
• Rule #6
• Try to narrow the scope of the review in advance.
• Have a few departments/areas prescreened and
prepared.
SURVIVING COMPLIANCE REVIEWS
Rule #7
Ask for the auditor’s opinions, ideas, and
recommendations.
(It doesn’t mean you have to follow them. Plus,
they might even have some good ones.)
SURVIVING COMPLIANCE REVIEWS
Rule #8
Don’t give an auditor anything you have not already
reviewed in detail first. Buy time if you have to.
•
•
•
•
Policies, procedures, rules, handbooks must be consistent.
Employee data
Student data
Compensation data
SURVIVING COMPLIANCE REVIEWS
Rule #9
A) Provide the information that is requested
– not more and not less!
or
B) Toot your own horn.
If you have had successes, highlight them.
If you have made compensation equity adjustments,
share them.
If you have strong outreach programs for women in
STEM fields, include them.
SURVIVING COMPLIANCE REVIEWS
• Rule #10
• Be honest, respectful and forthcoming
• Consider signals to colleagues if tensions develop
SURVIVING COMPLIANCE REVIEWS
• Rule #11
• Keep accurate and detailed notes of all discussions with
the auditors
• Be careful about what you put in emails; assume
everything could appear on the front page of the
newspaper
• Rule #12
• If possible, take actions quickly to remedy issues that
surfaced during the review – either that they noticed or
you noticed.
SURVIVING COMPLIANCE REVIEWS
• Rule #13
• Use the compliance review to leverage resources you
need.
• Title IX is an “unfunded” mandate. A conciliation agreement is
an opportunity for you to get senior management to commit to
staffing or other needs.
RULE #14
KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOR (PERHAPS TO YOURSELF).
WORK LIFE BALANCE IS IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE.

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