What Does a Title IX Coordinator Do?
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.
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 picture, you should refer to the Office of Civil Right’s (OCR) guidelines.
Thorough Knowledge of Title IX Law and Campus Policies
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. The 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? Do you have an affirmative consent requirement where each sexual action requires a yes from both partners? 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.
Coordinate Campus Climate Surveys
Another responsibility Title IX coordinators have is to oversee the campus’s sex discrimination and sexual violence prevention initiatives. For example, the Title IX coordinator provides student training to help prevent sexual violence on campus, such as dating and domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault and harassment.
To understand if these prevention efforts are making a difference, the OCR recommends conducting a campus climate survey. This is something the Title IX coordinator needs to manage so that they can analyze the information collected and measure the success and failures of their prevention efforts.
Conduct Investigations & Enforce Disciplinary Actions
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 handle the investigation from beginning to end which can include among other things:
- Conducting interviews with the involved parties
- Informing all parties about the grievance process
- Establishing witness credibility
- Evaluating evidence with an impartial view
- Determining appropriate sanctions against the perpetrator
- Helping survivors find resources
Additionally, the Title IX coordinator should be accessible and available to meet with students who need guidance or want to make a complaint.
Collaborate with Other Departments
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 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.