FAQ's for Title IX:
Questions and Answers Regarding the 2020 Regulations
On May 6, 2020, the US Department of Education issued new regulations that took effect on August 14, 2020. The University of Louisville as a recipient of federal funding is required to abide by all of these regulations which carry the force of law. Below are clarifying answers to questions.
What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational institutions that receive federal funding.
It applies to educational institutions that receive financial assistance from the United States Department of Education and is enforced by the Office for Civil Rights.
Has the focus of Title IX changed?
No. The mission of Title IX remains the same: As envisioned and enacted by Congress, Title IX seeks to reduce or eliminate barriers to the educational opportunity caused by sex discrimination in institutions that receive federal funding.
How we accomplish the mission has changed, but the mission is still the same.
What are the most significant changes required by the new regulations?
- Applies to employees and students.
- Adds jurisdiction boundaries.
- Adds “must” and “may” dismiss criteria for complaints.
- Changes the role of the Advisor:
- Advisor may accompany their party in the investigation portion.
- Advisor (but not complainant) is allowed to cross-examine opposing party.
- Changes the Hearing Process:
- Requires live hearings (hearings may be virtual).
- Cross examination of parties allowed only by advisor of opposing party.
- Presiding hearing official will make determinations of relevancy for questions posed by advisors.
- Requires Extensive Training:
- Training content must be posted on the Title IX website.
Who is protected by Title IX?
Any person in the United States who is involved in an educational program or activity that receives Federal financial assistance.
What is the definition of sexual harassment?
Sexual Harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
- An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (often referred to as quid pro quo);
- Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity; or
- Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence or Stalking
What is “quid pro quo” harassment?
Quid pro quo harassment is defined as an employee of the university conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the recipient on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
This type of harassment occurs if a faculty or staff member conditions an educational decision or benefit on another faculty, staff member or student's submission to unwelcome sexual conduct. Whether the faculty, staff member or student resists and suffers the threatened harm or submits and avoids the threatened harm, they have been treated differently, or their ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s program has been denied or limited, on the basis of sex in violation of the Title IX regulations.
For example, when a benefit (including good grades, promotions, etc.), or avoiding a consequence (bad grades, demotion, etc.), explicitly or implicitly depends upon a person’s agreeing to sexual advances or requests for dates/sexual favors, etc., quid pro quo harassment has occurred.
What are the jurisdictional boundaries?
Once the University has actual knowledge of an alleged violation, jurisdiction under Title IX requires that any act prohibited occur:
- Against a person within the United States, and
- Within the University’s education programs or activities including locations, events, or circumstances over which the University exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the Sexual Misconduct occurs. This includes any building(s) owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the University.
What are the “must” and “may” dismiss criteria?
The Title IX Coordinator and/or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator must evaluate each formal complaint that is filed to determine whether it meets the jurisdictional requirements to proceed through the formal Title IX investigative process.
The University is required to dismiss the formal complaint for purposes of this policy if at any point the institution determines that the conduct alleged in the complaint:
- Would not constitute sexual misconduct as defined in this policy, even if proved
- Did not occur in the University’s education program or activity; or
- Did not occur against a person in the United States (a person can be anyone including non-citizens)
For complaints again students, the University reserves the right to address the alleged conduct in a dismissed complaint utilizing the Code of Student Conduct or other policies, as applicable.
The University may dismiss the formal complaint or any allegations therein, if at any time during the investigation or hearing:
- A complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein;
- The respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the University;
- Or specific circumstances prevent the recipient from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.
Is there a process to appeal the dismissal of a complaint?
There is a process for Appeal of Dismissal of a complaint:
When a complaint is dismissed, the University will send written notice of the dismissal and reason(s) for the dismissal simultaneously to the parties. Both parties can appeal the decision to dismiss or the decision to dismiss any allegation in a formal complaint on the following bases:
- Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
- New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding dismissal was made and that could affect the outcome of the matter; and
- The Title IX Coordinator, Investigator, or Hearing Board member had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.
What does the University’s education program or activity include?
Education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the University exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurred. Title IX applies to all of a University’s education programs or activities, whether such programs or activities occur on-campus or off-campus.
Does the University have new policies as a result of the new regulations?
Yes. There are two new policies:
- The Student Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy
- The Employee Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy
Links to both policies are on the Title IX web page
Is the University required to have a Title IX Coordinator?
Who does the University have to notify of the Title IX Coordinator’s contact information?
Applicants for admission and employment, parents or legal guardians of elementary and secondary school students, and all unions.
What Title IX contact information is the University obligated to provide?
The name or title, office address, e-mail address, and telephone number of the Title IX Coordinator.
Who can report sexual harassment and when can they report it?
Any person may report sexual harassment, either directly to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator or to any other employee who is then responsible for forwarding the information to the Title IX coordinator. Reports can be made at any time, including during non-business hours. Reports can be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by email. Any person with knowledge of Sexual Misconduct may report the information to any of the Title IX Coordinators:
Sarah Mudd, Title IX Coordinator
2100 S. Floyd Street
Student Activities Center – W301
Louisville, KY 40208
Phone: (502) 852-5787
Dr. Angela B. Taylor, Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for complaints against students)
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Assistant Dean of Students
2100 S. Floyd Street
Student Activities Center – W301
Louisville, KY 40208
Phone: (502) 852-5787
Donna Ernst, Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for complaints against employees)
Assistant Director Employee Relations
215 Central Station
Louisville, KY 40208
Phone: (502) 852-6688
Oscar Chavez, Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for complaints against non-University community members) Lieutenant,
UofL Police Department
2126 S. Floyd Street
Louisville, KY 40292
Phone: (502) 852-7233 or 852-6111
Who are mandatory reporters and officials with the authority to act?
University employees including, but not limited to, vice presidents, deans, department chairs, directors, coaches, staff, University of Louisville Police Officers and any contracted security personnel, or any faculty member are mandatory reporters. These employees are required to report any information of which they become aware regarding sexual misconduct, sexual harassment (includes quid pro quo and hostile environment); sexual assault; domestic violence; dating violence; and stalking) to the Title IX or Deputy Title IX Coordinators.
The Title IX Coordinators and Deputy Title IX Coordinators are officials with authority to act. Officials with authority to act are those who have the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University and they have an obligation to promptly respond once notified of allegations of sexual misconduct.
Complainants have the right to (1) notify either police and/or campus authorities, or (2) obtain assistance from campus authorities to notify the police, or (3) decline to notify police or campus authorities. Retaliation (including intimidating, threatening, coercing, or discrimination) against any person in response to reporting is prohibited. UofL will take steps to prevent retaliation and, should it occur, will take strong responsive action.
What must a Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator do after receiving a report of sexual harassment?
The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator must respond by:
- promptly contacting the complainant confidentially to discuss the availability of supportive measures;
- considering the complainant’s wishes with respect to supportive measures;
- informing the complainant of the availability of supportive measures with or without the filing of a formal complaint; and,
- explaining to the complainant the process for filing a formal complaint.
After a report of sexual harassment is made, can the University discipline the respondent?
No. The University must complete the investigative and hearing processes and determine that the respondent is responsible for the behavior prior to assigning disciplinary sanctions or taking any other actions against the student. The regulations explicitly prohibit taking any disciplinary action against a respondent prior to a finding of responsibility. The only exception to this may occur when the informal process is utilized. The informal process, by definition, occurs in lieu of the hearing process.
Can a University informally resolve a complaint?
Sometimes. The University may, in their discretion, facilitate an informal resolution so long as both parties give voluntary, informed, written consent to attempt informal resolution. At any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the Title IX process with respect to the formal complaint. However, the University will not offer and will not facilitate an informal resolution process to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.
What are supportive measures?
Individualized services reasonably available that are nonpunitive, non-disciplinary, and not unreasonably burdensome to the other party while designed to ensure equal educational access, protect safety, or deter sexual harassment.
How does the University determine what supportive measures are appropriate?
A University’s selection of supportive measures and remedies should be based on what is clearly reasonable in light of the known circumstances.
Is the University required to investigate all reports of sexual harassment?
No. Either the complainant or the Title IX Coordinator determines whether the report of sexual harassment is to be investigated. A complainant’s wishes regarding whether the school investigates should be respected unless the Title IX Coordinator determines that signing a formal complaint to initiate an investigation over the wishes of the complainant is not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.
Does the University have to investigate the report if the report does not meet the definition of sexual harassment or did not occur in the school’s education program or activity?
No. If the allegations in a formal complaint do not meet the definition of sexual harassment or did not occur in the University’s education program or activity against a person in the United States, the regulations require that the University must dismiss such allegations for purposes of Title IX. The University may still address the allegations in any manner the University deems appropriate under other policies or rules.
Does the University have to afford each party the opportunity to question the opposing party?
Yes, but only through the party’s advisor. Each party’s advisor may cross examine the opposing party and all witnesses.
Do the complainant and respondent have the right to an appeal of a University’s decision?
Yes. The University must offer both parties an appeal from a determination regarding responsibility, and from the University’s dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegations therein, on the following bases:
- Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
- Newly discovered evidence that could affect the outcome of the matter; and/or
- Title IX personnel had a conflict of interest or bias, that affected the outcome of the matter.
A University may offer an appeal equally to both parties on additional bases.
What if I need advice, support, or counseling or if I wish to report sexual misconduct including sexual harassment (includes quid pro quo and hostile environment); sexual assault; domestic violence; dating violence; and stalking?
Below, please find listed support and counseling resources and information about reporting. The information below can also be found in the Title IX Student Sexual Misconduct Resource Guide
CAMPUS HEALTH SERVICES
215 Central Ave, Suite 110
Campus Health Services (CHS) is a confidential primary-care student medical facility. CHS does not have the capability to provide forensic sexual assault examinations on site but can assist in accessing the appropriate services and provide continuing care following your initial examination.
CHS HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER COUNSELOR
CHS provides confidential counseling services at the Health Sciences Center to any HSC-enrolled student. A licensed counselor provides complete initial evaluations and ongoing therapy for a variety of conditions, such as anxiety or depression. The HSC counselor works closely with the CHS service physicians and psychiatrists should the counselor recommend medication for the management of any condition. HSC students may self-refer or be referred by a faculty or staff member, fellow student, or health service provider.
THE UofL COUNSELING CENTER
Student Activities Center
2100 S. Floyd St.
The Counseling Center provides comprehensive counseling and mental health services to students. A licensed counselor will listen and provide counseling services. Counseling sessions are confidential and names will not be released without your written permission.
CHS PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES
CHS provides free confidential psychiatric services to any student enrolled at UofL. Licensed, board-certified faculty psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners provide complete initial psychiatric evaluations, medication maintenance, psychotherapy, referral to other community or campus resources and referrals for hospitalization, if needed. Psychiatrists see students by appointment only. Students must be referred by a CHS primary care provider, a Counseling Center counselor, outside psychiatrist, or the PEACC Program director.
The Disability Resource Center (DRC) fosters an inclusive campus climate by providing support for students with documented disabilities by promoting equal access to all programs and services. One means of promoting equal access is to ensure that qualified students with disabilities are properly accommodated. The physical and emotional trauma of sexual assault and other forms of interpersonal violence or power-based misconduct can negatively impact a student’s ability to study, learn, and otherwise participate in UofL’s programs and activities. In some cases, those effects may rise to the level of a disability. Students who believe they might qualify for disability-related accommodations should consult with the DRC to determine their eligibility for ADA-related accommodations.
Student Activities Center
PEACC provides confidential advocacy and assistance to university students, staff, and faculty who are affected by sexual misconduct, dating or domestic violence, sexual harassment, or stalking. An advocate will listen and can assist in accessing medical care and arranging for medical evaluations, academic accommodations and housing accommodations, information regarding reimbursement for certain services related to the assault, referrals to counseling, and anonymous reporting to University Police and/or the Dean of Students Office.
THE CENTER FOR WOMEN & FAMILIES
927 S. Second St.
Call for confidential help: 24-Hour Toll-free Crisis Line: 844-BE-SAFE-1
The Center for Women and Families offers services to all survivors of domestic or sexual violence. Clients include men and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in addition to women and dependent children. Trained crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to speak to those who have experienced intimate partner abuse or sexual assault. If no life-threatening injuries are present, persons may also go to the Louisville SANE clinic located at the Center for Women and Families for immediate, confidential services and exams for male and female sexual assault victims. At the center, a certified sexual assault examiner will see the patient and alleviate possible wait time at the hospital. To use this service, contact the Hotline number above to speak with an advocate who will assist you in determining exam location. In addition, the CASE Project offers free and confidential legal help to college students who are survivors of sexual assault.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INTAKE CENTER
600 W. Jefferson St. #1150
The Domestic Violence Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist victims of domestic violence. The center is staffed by the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk, the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. The center takes both civil emergency protective orders and criminal complaints. The staff at the center can identify the type of protection that is eligible and assist with asking the court for that protection. Victim’s advocates are on staff to provide information about community resources and offer advice based on an assessment of the level of danger present in each situation.
UNIVERSITY of LOUISVILLE HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM
530 S. Jackson St.
Medical care from a certified sexual assault examiner can be obtained at the University of Louisville Hospital emergency room. The exam is free and will not be billed through insurance, but there may be charges for expenses unrelated to the exam process (e.g. ambulance expenses, follow-up care, hospitalizations, surgical procedures). For an exam on persons 18 or older, parental notification will not be done without consent. As part of your sexual assault exam, a police report can be chosen to be made. Making a report and completing an exam preserve the option to prosecute, but does not commit a person to pressing charges.
Any person may report sexual misconduct including sexual harassment (includes quid pro quo and hostile environment); sexual assault; domestic violence; dating violence; and stalking (whether or not the person reporting is the recipient of the reported conduct) to:
The Title IX Coordinator will ensure that the university responds promptly in a manner that is clearly reasonable in light of the known circumstances.
What if I have additional questions about Title IX and/or the new regulations?
Contact the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators utilizing the contact information listed above.