The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced the resolution of two Title IX sexual violence complaints filed against a private university in Ohio. In the resolution letter and agreement, which identified several findings of non-compliance with Title IX requirements, OCR focused on:

  • Whether the notice of nondiscrimination included sufficient references to OCR and the Title IX coordinator

  • Designation and notice of the Title IX coordinator

  • Scope of the Title IX grievance procedure and application to individual complaints/third parties

  • Use of mediation

  • Coordination with concurrent civil and criminal proceedings

  • Whether the institutional response was equitable

OCR's announcement reflects the Department of Education's continued focus on Title IX compliance and underscores the need for educational institutions to pay ongoing attention to this issue. Educational institutions are advised to review regularly existing policies and procedures, ensure that policies are consistently applied during investigation and resolution processes, and to conduct periodic audits and monitoring of the response to Title IX complaints.

Attorneys in Ballard Spahr's Higher Education Group regularly advise clients on Title IX compliance, conduct Title IX investigations and trainings, and audit Title IX policies and procedures.

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