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Broken on Campus: High-Profile Failures Reveal Title IX Offices are in Desperate Need of Reform

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Rebecca Hain: 513-479-3335


Broken on Campus: High-Profile Failures Reveal Title IX Offices are in Desperate Need of Reform

WASHINGTON / July 24, 2023 – Three recent reports reveal widespread oversights and failures at university offices that were established to assure compliance with Title IX, the federal law enacted to stop sex discrimination in schools. The problems with Title IX are being seen throughout the country at institutions large and small, private and public, in three areas:

  1. Discrimination against Male Students: A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education reveals the existence of a broad array of scholarships, leadership development programs, awards, and summer camps that illegally exclude male students. The article notes that economist Mark Perry has filed hundreds of anti-discrimination complaints with the federal Office for Civil Rights, alleging more than 2,000 violations of federal antidiscrimination law by more than 750 colleges in virtually every state around the country (1).
  2. Due Process: To date, 265 judicial decisions have been handed down (2) against colleges for sex discrimination (3), lack of due process, and other similar violations. One of the most notable decisions was rendered on June 27 when the Connecticut Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of student Saif Khan, who had been falsely accused of sexual assault. The Court singled out numerous due process deficiencies in the school’s Title IX procedures, including the fact that Yale “failed to establish an adequate record of the proceedings.” (4)
  3. Handling of Sexual Harassment Complaints: A new report reveals a constellation of failures at California State University, the nation’s largest four-year public university. The report documents the lack of a coordinated approach across the 23-campus system, resulting in sexual misconduct complaints being ignored, mishandled, or falling through the cracks. The report deplores the lack of a “consistent formal process for reporting, resolving, documenting, or tracking” of complaints, and makes numerous recommendations for improvement (5).

Part of the problem can be traced to a lack of legal expertise among Title IX coordinators. According to the Association of Title IX Administrators, the leading trade organization for Title IX coordinators, fewer than one in four coordinators have a Juris Doctor degree (6).  Another analysis revealed a pro-feminist, anti-male bias among many Title IX coordinators (7).

In addition, the Association of Title IX Administrators has a well-documented history of seeking to roll back on Fourteenth Amendment-based due process protections for the accused (8). Last year, a lawsuit was filed against ATIXA president Brett Sokolow for allegedly using company funds for personal purposes and defrauding clients (9).

All of these facts point to a pervasive lack of impartiality, professionalism, and legal expertise in the Title IX field. One might reasonably conclude that these problems need to be addressed before any efforts are make to widen the scope of the Title IX law or increase the duties of Title IX coordinators.

And that’s exactly what the Department of Education’s proposed Title IX regulation seeks to do (10).