University Business May 2017 - 35

sexual and relationship violence.
The investigation of alleged Title IX
One of the first steps Jaime Nolan,
violations-which nearly all colleges face
vice president for community, equity and
each year-is handled in different ways
diversity, took toward building Title IX
on different campuses. Some have dediinfrastructure when she was asked to lead
cated Title IX investigators, or investiUNH's Title IX effort in the summer of
gations may be conducted by staff who
2015, was to meld these disparate departhave undergone specialized training.
ments and organizations. Together, repAt UNH, the Title IX coordinator
resentatives discussed current efforts and
manages investigations, working closely
ways to work together most effectively in
with the dean of students, campus police,
the future, and solidified relationships so
and representatives of the Office of Comthat the group could work together cohemunity Standards and SHARPP, when
sively to create a safe, welcoming campus
appropriate. The Title IX coordinator
climate. The steering committee now inalso determines, in conjunction with the
cludes Title IX coordinator Donna Marie
others, when an independent investiga-Brett Sokolaw,
Sorrentino (hired in 2003), a representation is needed.
Association of Title IX Administrators
tive from the general counsel office, the
Best practices require colleges and
HR director, the dean of students and the
universities to treat complainants and
campus police chief.
respondents fairly, and to complete inNolan formed an additional Title IX
vestigations in a timely manner, typically
advisory committee with about 20 mem- include the director of judicial affairs, the within six weeks.
bers-including representatives from university police chief, the athletic direcPIRC, residence life, athletics, human tor, the director of social equity and a stu- What's next for Title IX
resources and the Sexual Harassment & dent affairs director from a satellite cam- One of the perennial challenges of Title
Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP).
IX administration is that, as Sokolow says,
pus located about 45 minutes away.
An exercise involved discussing what
The whole group meets monthly to "the minute we get our brain around what
the members viewed as their central mis- review trends on campus regarding sexual Title IX is, it changes." Nationwide, Title
sion, Nolan says. That work helped team violence and harassment, to discuss na- IX coordinators and administrators are on
members understand the roles and bound- tional Title IX issues and initiatives, and alert, watching and waiting to see what
aries of particular departments. "What to develop policies and programming for guidance, if any, the federal government
the Title IX office does is very different preventing sexual violence and harass- will give regarding the law.
from what the advocacy
unit does, and ment. Each week, Fenske reviews all active
"If the government leaves colleges to
www.universitybusiness.com/subscribe
very different from what our researchers Title IX cases with the chief of police and their own devices, which may be what
do," Nolan says. "By better understanding director of judicial affairs.
happens under the Trump administrawhat everybody does, we can best support
"From that consistent work, it became tion, then the question is, do we flounder
each other in our efforts and build systems very clear to us that we had a significant with no guidance or direction, or would
that work."
concern with people making poor choices that give us a chance to develop programs
about relationships," Fenske says. The Title that work best for our colleges without a
Title IX administration in action
IX team completed a "gap analysis," which gun to our heads?" Sokolow says. "The
At Clarion University, a public institu- pointed to a need for additional training truth is probably somewhere between
tion in Pennsylvania, Susanne Fenske, vice to help students understand healthy versus those two."
president of student affairs, serves as Title unhealthy relationships, and how to access
IX coordinator and chair of the university's help if needed. The group is currently in Jennifer L. W. Fink is a Wisconsin-based
writer.
Title IX team. Other members of the team the process of developing that training.

"The minute
we get our
brain around
what Title IX
is, it changes."

2017

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business May 2017

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