Title IX

On August 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education issued new Title IX regulations on how all colleges and universities are required to investigate and adjudicate sexual misconduct cases.  Title IX provides the standards for institutions receiving complaints of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence along with stalking.  

UNK is dedicated to the prevention of sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, and providing a safe campus for its employee and students. Like all other colleges and universities across the nation, UNK has been working hard to prepare for these changes. 

Several policies and procedures have been updated, but UNK expects that we may still find nuances or effects of the final regulations in the coming months.  UNK is committed to working through these nuances or challenges as they arise, (as a result of the new regulations), and we will put forth our best efforts to proceed as best we can going forward.

Changes and Effects 

The new regulations contain several significant changes from the previous guidance:

  • A narrower definition of what behavior constitutes sexual harassment.
  • A narrower scope of conduct that is actionable under Title IX.
  • A formal complaint must be in writing.
  • The addition of a process advisor to assist the parties including asking questions in a live hearing.
  • Voluntary informal resolution options are available to the parties throughout the complaint process.
  • The parties may speak about the complaint to others.
  • Updated grievance procedures that include a live hearing and the ability to cross examine all parties.
  • Mandated appeals process.
  • Mandated training for Title IX personnel, including the Title IX Coordinator, investigators, decision makers, advisors, and informal resolution professionals.
  • Greater emphasis placed on impartiality and prohibition of bias, conflicts of interests and prejudgement

 

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. .1681 et seq.) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs receiving Federal financial assistance. Athletics are considered an integral part of an institution's education program and are therefore covered by this law. 

Title IX states:  "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." 

Who does Title IX apply to? 

Title IX applies to all educational institutions, both public and private, that receive federal funds. This means all students, faculty and staff are protected by Title IX. 

Who is responsible for enforcing Title IX?

Compliance with Title IX is a shared responsibility of an entire institution, from top-level administration to individual staff members. Institutions are required to investigate any complaints of gender discrimination. In addition, all students and employees must be notified of the name, office address and telephone number of the designated Title IX coordinator.  

UNK’s Title IX Coordinator is: 

Mary Chinnock Petroski
Chief Compliance Officer/Title IX Coordinator
Office of Equity and Compliance
Warner Hall, Suite 2113
(308) 865-8655
petroskimj@unk.edu

Who is responsible for reporting Title IX?

Official with Authority:

An Official of the University who has authority to institute corrective measures for sexual misconduct on behalf of the University.  The following individuals are Officials with President, Chancellors, Provost/Vice Presidents, and Vice Chancellors; and UNCA and campus Title IX Coordinators. 

Responsible Employees:

With the exception of those specifically designated as confidential resources, all UNK employees are required to report incidents of sexual misconduct they witness or learn of in the course of employment.  Employees who are in a supervisory, managerial, or upper administrative role are what Title IX terms “Responsible Employees”.  Responsible Employees are required to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX coordinator’s office.  Employees who are not designated as “Responsible Employees” under Title IX, are required to report sexual misconduct incidents to their supervisors, however, they may also report incidents to the Title IX office. 

Office of Civil Rights Information

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education enforces Title IX. OCR has the authority to develop policy on the regulations it enforces. Anyone may file an OCR complaint, and the identity of the party who files the complaint will be kept confidential. 

Office for Civil Rights
Kansas City Office
U.S. Department of Education
One Petticoat Lane
1010 Walnut Street, Suite 320 
Kansas City, MO 64106
Telephone: 816-268-0550
FAX: 816-268-0559
TDD: 800-877-8339
Email: OCR.KansasCity@ed.gov 


Procedures for Filing a Complaint: