Title IX Compliance for Colleges & Universities
The increasing awareness of sexual misconduct and harassment in the college/university setting, as well as the continuing evolution of laws governing institutional responses to such conduct, has increased the pressure on institutions to ensure their compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and related laws. We provide colleges and universities with the tools and technical assistance needed to fulfill their Title IX obligation to both prevent and remediate gender discrimination within their programs. The following is an overview of our work:
We conduct comprehensive audits to help institutions comply with a variety of state and federal mandates under Title IX, the Clery Act, the Campus SaVE Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Title VII, and Mass. Gen. Law. 151B.
Non-Discrimination Policies and Procedures
We know that comprehensive, well-drafted policies and procedures are the cornerstone of Title IX compliance. We also know, however, that one size does not fit all, and that effective non-discrimination/sexual misconduct policies must take into account an institution’s resources, student body, culture and values. Kurker Paget LLC assists schools in designing policies and procedures that are both Title IX compliant and tailored to the practical necessities of each institution.
Title IX Investigations
In cases of sexual misconduct, a school’s prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of facts is crucial; indeed the failure to conduct a proper investigation may give rise to liability on the part of the institution. For this reason, many colleges and universities engage Kurker Paget LLC to formally investigate complaints of gender discrimination, including complaints of harassment and sexual misconduct.
Title IX lawsuits against colleges and universities have increased in recent years and the trend shows no sign of abating. In such cases, a college or university must be confident that its defense counsel possesses the knowledge, experience and skill to protect its interests. As attorneys who spent many years in the litigation groups of downtown Boston law firms, we bring nearly 30 years’ of combined litigation and trial experience to our clients.
Title IX Training
To comply with Title IX, higher education institutions must affirmatively train those members of the community who are responsible for fulfilling Title IX’s mandates, from Title IX Coordinators to Investigators to those overseeing grievance procedures. Kurker Paget offers training for all members of a campus community responsible for ensuring Title IX compliance.
We are advisors and advocates for colleges and universities in the range of employment matters involving tenured faculty, adjunct faculty, administrators and staff members. In addition to helping schools to navigate the myriad state and federal employment laws that touch upon every employment relationship, we also have experience handling faculty appointment, promotions and tenure disputes, as well as faculty discipline and misconduct. Clients call upon us to defend them when employment litigation arises because they understand that our keen understanding of higher education culture helps us mount a defense called for in each unique situation.
- OCR’s Dear Colleague Letter regarding Title IX and sexual violence (April 4, 2011)
- OCR’s recent compliance reviews and resolutions
- Federal regulations implementing Title IX
- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Campus SaVE)
- Draft regulations on changes to Clery Act by VAWA Reauthorization
- White House Council on Women and Girls, “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call To Action”
- U.S. DOE OCR “Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence”
- The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault (April 2014)
- Dear Colleague Letter – Federal Guidance on Clery Act Amendments pending issuance of final regulations (July 14, 2014)