Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Dear Colleagues: Examining the Impact of Title IX Regulation, Investigation, and Public Scrutiny on Higher Education Administrators
by Miller, Nathan P., Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2018, 133; 10829152
Abstract (Summary)

Recently, the issue of campus sexual violence and the term Title IX have become commonplace with the majority of college-aged individuals within the United States. This time of increased regulation began as a crescendo with the U.S. Department of Education and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Dear Colleague letter of April 2011, which was enhanced by the reform of the Campus SaVE and VAWA Acts and the 2014 Question and Answers guidance documents. This guidance resulted in a significant increase in the number of institutions under federal investigation of alleged violations of Title IX by the OCR, with an increasing number of students also engaging in formal litigation with their institutions.

This qualitative study set out to better understand the impact of addressing campus sexual violence and sexual harassment, public scrutiny, and a U.S. Department of Education and OCR investigation of an alleged violation of Title IX on 19 student conduct administrators or Title IX coordinators who were responsible for administering, enforcing, and reporting incidents associated with Title IX at 11 Association of American Universities (AAU) institutions. Additionally, this study sought to give a voice to a U.S. higher education professional staff population that is often silent, either because of federal regulations or due to the social stigma associated with their work. Eight main impacts were identified: (a) lack of clear guidance, (b) shifts in institutional organization structure and staffing, (c) legalization of the student conduct processes, (d) staff feeling on trial, (e) greater public scrutiny, (f) changes in relationships with students, (g) personal impacts, and (h) shifts in career ambitions. Overall, the process of addressing and responding to campus sexual violence and sexual harassment of student conduct administrators and Title IX coordinators has fundamentally changed.

Ultimately, this study demonstrated how the practitioners who deal most directly with campus sexual violence and sexual harassment experienced both positive and negative impacts in regard to addressing and responding to campus sexual violence and sexual harassment in this ongoing period of heightened U.S. federal regulation, guidance, and public scrutiny.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Moneta, Larry
Commitee: Armacost, Mary-Linda, Blackhurst, Anne
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education Management
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Education, Higher education
Keywords: Dear colleague letter, Student conduct, Title IX
Publication Number: 10829152
ISBN: 978-0-438-33905-7
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