Title IX enforcement continues to be a top priority for the federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR). What once was only a handful of colleges and universities under investigation has grown to over 90 institutions that are currently being investigated for various Title IX compliance issues. On April 24, 2015, OCR issued a Dear Colleague Letter that focuses on Title IX Coordinators, those on-campus individuals ultimately responsible for ensuring Title IX compliance. OCR recognizes the critical role Title IX Coordinators play in making Title IX policies, procedures, and rights transparent, informative, and barrier-free as well as the role Title IX Coordinators take in building a culture on campus that does not condone gender bias and sexual harassment. To carry out these roles effectively, OCR recommends that Title IX Coordinators have sufficient authority and support so that they can oversee Title IX compliance on their respective campuses. OCR's primary concern is with a Title IX Coordinator's visibility on campus and ability to train others. OCR also recommends that Coordinators be full-time, have sufficient independence to directly inform senior level administrators of compliance issues, have an active role in drafting or revising Title IX policies and procedures, and have greater access to student enrollment, discipline, and Clery information. In addition, OCR recommends that contact information for the Title IX Coordinators be included not only in the institution's non-discrimination policies, but also in any other publications distributed to the campus community addressing the rights and responsibilities under Title IX. OCR requires, at a minimum, that Coordinators be trained on the contours of Title IX, including regulatory provisions, applicable OCR guidance, and the institution's Title IX policies and grievance procedures so that in turn Coordinators can provide appropriate training to campus constituencies. OCR recommends that Coordinators also have training on statutes and regulations that overlap with Title IX, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Clery Act, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). For many colleges and universities, OCR's recommendations create practical challenges in an environment of budgetary cuts and shrinking resources, institutional composition, and the necessary consolidation of responsibilities. Many institutions are now doing more with less. While it may not be practical to have a full-time Title IX Coordinator, prudent institutions would be well served to entrust their Coordinators with sufficient authority, independence, and resources to: address complaints of sex discrimination identify and address any patterns of sex-bias and sexual harassment assess the campus climate to ensure that www.wallerlaw.com 2 4839-8386-0771.1 o students, faculty and staff recognize sex-based harassment o students, faculty and staff are encouraged, and know how, to report this type of conduct to campus officials Although campus resources for training opportunities may be scarce, there are still ways to can gain the necessary information. Prudent institutions should take advantage of available resources from OCR on Title IX (e.g. the Resolution Agreement signed by the University of Montana and Chart of Intersections between Title IX and the Clery Act), and collaborate with other Title IX Coordinators within TICUA and in the state and region to share information, knowledge, and expertise. If you have additional questions about this note, please do not hesitate to contact the author or any member of Waller.