When a person files a claim under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 as a complainant or is facing allegations under Title IX as a respondent, it is extremely important to understand the role of a Title IX coordinator and investigator. Title IX coordinators and investigators are tasked with coordinating a school’s responsibilities under Title IX, while investigators must investigate complaints concerning sexual misconduct or discrimination under Title IX and to resolve complaints and other related issues that arise under Title IX. Federal law allows a school to appoint the same person as a Title IX coordinator and investigator, although more than one party may fill these roles. In some cases, school districts and colleges or universities may also appoint deputy coordinators who oversee Title IX compliance in specific programs or areas. If you have questions, you should seek advice from the Title IX lawyers at Duffy Law.
What is a Title IX Coordinator?
Under Title IX regulations, every educational institution that must comply with Title IX is required to designate and authorize an employee who will coordinate the school’s efforts to comply with Title IX. This employee is known as the Title IX coordinator and is required to “serve without bias or conflicts of interest,” and to receive appropriate training necessary to fulfill the roles of the position. Title IX coordinators must adhere to the same requirements regardless of the educational level, meaning that the same requirements apply in K-12 schools and in higher education.
The duties of the Title IX coordinator include but are not limited to the following:
· Gaining knowledge of Title IX and understanding the requirements for the educational institution under Title IX
· Reviewing the institution’s policies and practices for possible discriminatory practices
· Coordinating Title IX complaint procedures
What is a Title IX Investigator?
A Title IX investigator is responsible for various parts of the Title IX investigation process. During an investigation, the Title IX investigator is required to be a neutral and unbiased party who interviews witnesses, gathers information, and compiles that information. A Title IX investigator can also be tasked with staff trainings at institutions concerning Title IX, and assisting with Title IX policies.
Similar to a Title IX coordinator, an investigator can be an employee who is designated as an investigator. Tasks of Title IX investigators include but are not limited to the following:
- Providing a notice of the investigation or the allegation to the parties involved
- Clarifying that the respondent is presumed to be not responsible for a Title IX violation until a formal determination has occurred
- Informing the parties that they can have an advisor present
- Scheduling and conducting interviews with the parties
- Scheduling and conducting interviews with witnesses
- Sending evidence to each of the parties
- Writing an investigative report that provides a summary of the evidence and the parties’ responses to it
The Title IX coordinator and investigator may be the same person at an institution. To be clear, both roles can be filled by the same person. Yet it is important to clarify that neither the Title IX coordinator nor the Title IX investigator can be a decisionmaker in the outcome of the case. If you have questions, you should seek advice from a Title IX lawyer.